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    Alabama congressman gets full view of empty Wilson Lock

    Alabama congressman gets full view of empty Wilson Lock

    Photo By Amy Redmond | Maintenance workers secure new miter blocks into the downstream lock gates during the...... read more read more



    Story by Amy Redmond 

    U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Nashville District

    FLORENCE, Ala. – Congressman Mo Brooks of Alabama’s 5th, and representative of Robert Aderholt of Alabama’s 4th districts, took today to get a full view of an empty Wilson Lock on the Tennessee River. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District maintainers performing major repairs at the lock gave the two local congressmen briefings and tour to understand the process and requirements involved with lock operations.

    The currently drained Wilson Lock is located in the northwest corner of Alabama and is one of 10 locks on the Tennessee River that are operated as a system of locks, which together makes it possible for recreational boaters to have freedom of movement and for commerce traffic to deliver goods and services across the region.

    Brooks said he desired to learn more about the issues associated with the aging lock and dam structures on the Tennessee River System by learning more about the maintenance makeover at Wilson Lock.

    "[There is] an importance to commerce that these locks and dams work properly, said Brooks. “It’s Congress’ responsibility to a significant degree to make sure we have the funding that is necessary to properly take care of not only the lock and dam infrastructure, but all the other infrastructure needs on our country."

    Leading the tour from within the 110-foot-tall lock structure, Donald Dean, assistant operations manager of the middle Tennessee River, said the colossal structure has a normal lift of 93-to-100 feet.

    This makes it “the highest single lift lock east of the Rocky Mountains,” said Dean.

    Following the tour, Brooks said that the tour is very informative and getting an opportunity to see the lock from its chamber floor is especially interesting.

    “This is my first opportunity to go into a lock dewatering and actually be in the base of the lock,” said Brooks. “Seeing these huge catfish that were caught in little pools during the dewater process made me want to go get my fishing line.”

    Maj. Patrick Dagon, Nashville District deputy commander, said that Brooks understood the funding challenges Wilson Lock is currently facing, but it was a great opportunity for him to see the full scope of the project, discuss other issues at Chickamauga and Kentucky Locks, and the Inland Waterways Trust Fund.

    "It gave him some concrete examples to take back with him to D.C.," said Dagon.

    (For more news and information about the Nashville District, follow us on our Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and YouTube pages.)



    Date Taken: 05.03.2012
    Date Posted: 05.07.2012 15:58
    Story ID: 88048
    Location: FLORENCE, AL, US 

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