Comment Period Extended, Public Meeting Set For Proposed Savannah River Lock And Dam Removal

Mar 5, 2019

Augusta area residents’ opportunity to comment on a controversial report recommending the removal of The Savannah Bluff Lock and Dam has been extended an additional 30 days to April 16. 

We’ve had requests from both the local and federal government representatives to extend it in order to give people time to kind of digest the report and fully understand what they’re reading before they’re able to make informed comments," Army Corps of Engineers spokesperson Russell Wicke said.

The report calls for replacing the lock and dam with a rock weir in order to create a clearer path for endangered fish species to reach historic spawning grounds. The project is part of the environmental remediation ordered in conjunction with The Savannah Harbor Expansion Project.  During a simulation test in February, the river’s water level dropped several feet, exposing mudflats and previously submerged structures that create a hazard for recreational use of the river. 

Savannah River in Augusta is safer for recreational use with lock and dam in place.
Credit James A.W. Dawson

A public meeting is set from 4 to 6 p.m. Wednesday at The Marriot Hotel at The Augusta Convention Center. Wicke says he is encouraging people to come out and ask the tough questions.

“We’re going to have a court reporter who can record the comments that they may have.  We’ll have someone there who will give a quick executive summary about what the report says, and then there’s going to be engineers and planners there to explain the importance of this and why the federal law requires this.”

A link to the Army Corps of Engineers complete report is available here