Traffic resumes through lock gates

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The newly repaired lock gates at New Savannah Bluff Lock and Dam reopened to Savannah River traffic Wednesday afternoon after being closed since March.

A boat heads down the Savannah River during a demonstration of the newly repaired lock gates at New Savannah Bluff Lock on Wednesday, July 2, 2008. It reopened to Savannah River traffic after being closed since March.  Jackie Ricciardi/Staff
Jackie Ricciardi/Staff
A boat heads down the Savannah River during a demonstration of the newly repaired lock gates at New Savannah Bluff Lock on Wednesday, July 2, 2008. It reopened to Savannah River traffic after being closed since March.

The facility was closed after the hydraulic cylinders that open and close the lock failed.

Repairs costing about $32,000 were completed last month, Augusta Recreation & Parks Director Tom Beck said.

The lock provides access between downtown Augusta and its marinas and the lower Savannah River, which links the city with Savannah, Ga.

It was built in 1937 to aid commercial shipping, but today is used only for recreational boaters and to allow upstream fish migration.

Anyone wishing to go through the lock must make a reservation 24 hours in advance with Lockmaster Jim Bates by calling (803) 292-5999. There is a $35 fee for opening and closing the structure.

The recent repairs were needed to keep the lock operational.

The aging dam still needs an estimated $22 million rehabilitation that would also include a fish- passage device for migrating sturgeon, striped bass and American shad.

-- From staff reports

 
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