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Posted 7/1/2015

Release no. 15-177


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Public Affairs OFfice
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PITTSBURGH -- The US Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District is updating river users regarding the availability of both chambers at Emsworth Locks and Dams as the July 4th holiday weekend approaches. The main chamber at Emsworth is currently closed for repairs and all traffic is channeled through the smaller auxiliary chamber, causing long delays for commercial and recreational users.

The Corps is alerting boaters and commercial operators that if weather cooperates and repair crews are able to place concrete early this week, the Corps will be able to open both chambers to commercial and recreational traffic by 8:00 AM on Friday, July 3rd.

Currently, the Corps will have the auxiliary chamber closed to commercial traffic but open to recreational traffic from June29 - July 2. Please see the Navigation Notice http://1.usa.gov/1Hk8gU5. The closure to commercial traffic is necessary to prevent turbulence caused by commercial vessels from damaging the newly placed concrete.

The high water this past weekend may delay placement of the concrete and disrupt the availability of the chambers.

The Army Corps is committed to keeping river users informed and will update boaters and commercial operators on the status of lock availability as conditions change. Please stay tuned to our Facebook page www.facebook.com/PittsubrghUSACE and website www.lrp.usace.army.mil for updates.

The Army Corps appreciates the public's patience as we work to maintain this vital infrastructure.

Emsworth Locks and Dams is one of 23 navigation facilities in the Pittsburgh District's inland waterways inventory. These structures not only provide reliable river commerce, but they create sustained pools that provide water supply for drinking, industrial use, firefighting and other uses. The sustained pools provided by navigation dams encourage riverfront and economic development within the region.

Pittsburgh District’s 26,000 square miles include portions of western Pennsylvania, northern West Virginia, eastern Ohio, western Maryland and southwestern New York. Our jurisdiction also includes more than 328 miles of navigable waterways Pittsburgh District’s 26,000 square miles include portions of western Pennsylvania, northern West Virginia, eastern Ohio, western Maryland and southwestern New York. Our jurisdiction includes more than 328 miles of navigable waterways, 16 multi-purpose flood control reservoirs, 42 local flood protection projects and other projects to protect and enhance the nation’s water resources infrastructure and environment.