AUGUSTA (WFXG) - A lot of people from South Carolina and Georgia were at the US Army corps of Engineers Lock and Dam Workshop Wednesday. They wanted answers to their concerns on the future of the New Savannah Bluff Lock and Dam.
There were no empty seats in the room as leaders with the US Army Corps of Engineers explained their plans for the New Savannah Bluff Lock and Dam. Originally, they started out with about 30 plans and eventually narrowed it down to the one that included lowering the water levels in the river. According to Billy Birdwell, Senior Public Affairs Specialist with the US Army Corps of Engineers, there were many factors that had to be considered.
“Pass the most fish that’s the most important, put us back in compliance with endangered species act, stay within budget, and be able to start construction by January 2020,” Birdwell explained.
After seeing the low water levels during the simulation last month, the public became concerned. David Penix, an attendee, says he was not happy about the water simulation. “The river needed to be lowered another foot to represent the rock weir river level...that’s disaster,” Penix said.
Penix is not the only one who felt that way, Jack Clausen, who also attended the workshop says, “It makes it to where you can’t use the whole river, obviously when a shore is 10 feet deep and all of a sudden it’s one land. I can’t take my boat further either way and not just me, the many people that use the river,” Penix said.
Birdwell says those are the public concerns he wants to hear. “That’s one of the reasons we’re having this workshop, so we can hear this from the public, we can’t be everywhere, we want to hear what the people have to say.”
If you have not submitted your comments you can do so by sending a letter in the mail to: Savannah District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Planning Division,ATTN: Ms. Robin Armetta (PM-P), 100 West Oglethorpe Avenue, Savannah, Georgia 31401-3604. Or you can send an email to CESAS-PD@usace,army.mil
Comments must be sent in by April 16th.