Attached is a news release from Mobile District announcing changes in the operating hours of the navigation locks on the Alabama and ACF river systems. Essentially, the locks will be open 10 hours a day four days a week, beginning February 1, 2013. Until then, the current policy remains. Any changes in the policy will be announced in a Corps press release. One possible change before February is that Claiborne Dam spillway gates are currently being configured to be operated remotely. If that occurs, there most likely will be reduction in the 24 hours/7 days a week lock operation.
Considering the initial proposal, the announced level of service policy for the Alabama and the ACF is a reasonable compromise.
I urge recreation boaters to take advantage of the operating hours in order to attain a higher usage rate than we’ve had over the past few years. The Corps will evaluate that usage annually to adjust the level of service as needed.
Jerry L Sailors