The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Vicksburg District has completed the dewatering of the John H. Overton Lock and Dam, located on the Red River, in Alexandria, La, at river mile 40.8.
Following the Nov. 2 completion of the dewatering and associated maintenance and inspections, the lock was subsequently opened to commercial traffic.
The structure had been closed since September 2019 to accommodate the scheduled dewatering of the lock chamber. This dewatering allowed district engineers and technical experts to inspect the lock chamber’s components, perform maintenance, and make repairs. Since the construction of the lock and dam in 1982, the lock chamber had never previously been completely dewatered.
Dewatering the structure is “an incredible feat” that plays an instrumental role in maintaining navigation on the waterway, said Vicksburg District Commander Col. Robert A. Hilliard. “Working with our industry partners is the most important piece, and they support us in preserving the long-term viability of the Red River.”
More than four million tons of commerce are shipped on the Red River waterway annually.
The Vicksburg District encompasses a 68,000-square-mile area across portions of Mississippi, Arkansas and Louisiana that holds seven major river basins and incorporates approximately 460 miles of mainline levees. The district is engaged in hundreds of projects and employs approximately 1,100 personnel.