News: Hurricane Irene damages Great Bridge Lock
Story by Patrick Bloodgood
CHESAPEAKE, Va. -- The Great Bridge Lock on the Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal is temporarily closed due to a broken swing arm caused by water and debris pushed against it during Hurricane Irene.
Crews are repairing the lock with a spare arm and expect to have the structure operational by Wednesday, Aug. 31.
It’s the first time the structure has been damaged during a storm event said Joel Scussel, Norfolk District project manager for the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway.
“The gate has been there during Hurricanes Floyd and Isabelle and has never sustained this type of damage. The only thing we have had was some water get into the electrical systems during a nor’easter but nothing mechanical like this,” said Scussel
With the Dismal Swamp Canal originally closed due to the wildfires, boaters traveling the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway will have to wait it out until the necessary repairs can be made.
“This is a priority, we need to get this up and operational to get boat traffic flowing again,” said Scussel.
The district performed one locking prior to shutting the lock down for repairs, allowing Corps debris removal vessels and NOAA research vessels that sought shelter upstream to move into the Elizabeth River to assist in port cleanup efforts.
For information about the status of the Albemarle and Chesapeake as well as the Dismal Swamp Canal, call (757) 201-7500 and select option 3. Information is also available online at www.nao.usace.army.mil or on the District’s Facebook and Twitter sites www.facebook.com/NAOonFB or www.twitter.com/norfolkdistrict