Little Rock District Seeks Comments On Rec Lock Policy

The Waterways Journal
11 March 2013

The Little Rock Engineer District began a 30-day comment period March 6 concerning its proposed recreational lockage policy for the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System. The comment period ends April 4.

Under the proposed policy, all Arkansas locks except Trimble Lock and Dam outside Fort Smith, Ark., and Ozark Lock and Dam in Ozark, Ark., will close to recreational vessels from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Monday through Thursday, excluding federal holidays, to allow Corps personnel to focus on maintenance at the locks.

Commercial towboats, along with government and emergency response personnel in watercrafts, will be locked through during the maintenance windows if the lock is operational.

The scheduled maintenance period for Trimble and Ozark will continue to be 8 a.m. to noon daily.

The proposed recreation lockage policy was developed after a series of public workshops last year sought input from all users.

“The navigation industry wants a reliable system and understands that preventive maintenance is important to maintain the system, while recreational users wanted it to be available primarily during the weekends and for large special events,” said Little Rock District’s chief of operations John Balgavy.

“We recognize the importance of the system to both commercial and recreational traffic and want our policies to achieve the desired goal with minimal impact to users. The Little Rock District will continue working with the public with the aim of making the MKARNS a resilient, reliable, and sustainable system that optimizes the value of the system to all users and beneficiaries while making the best use of available resources,” said Balgavy.

The policy will take into account special scheduled events such as bass tournaments, flotillas, and civic celebrations.

Information on the policy can be found on the Little Rock District’s website:

For more information, contact James McKinnie, Little Rock District’s Navigation and Maintenance Section, at 501, 324-5739, or email