The Corps has announced a decision on the New Savannah Bluff Lock & Dam, with Alternative 2-6d, a set of river-width weirs followed by the removal of the deteriorating lock and dam. Click the link below for the news release; the full report is being uploaded.
While the final report names this as the selected alternative, it also enables conditions necessary for modification to increase the weir height to allow for higher water, which can be introduced either now or in the future following completion of construction.
Changing to a higher weir alternative before construction requires Georgia and South Carolina to work in concert with the project’s non-federal sponsor to form a locally preferred plan (LPP). The LPP must be requested by the non-federal sponsor. Changing to a higher weir alternative after construction would require an agreement between a non-federal entity, the non-federal sponsors, and the Corps to pursue the modification.
We call for all sides to come to the table to discuss the future of this project and what compromise can be reached for the best outcome for the river and our communities.
The entire final report, including all the public comments along with Corps responses, can be found online at https://go.usa.gov/xVWxq. A public meeting will be held on Wed. November 13 from 6 to 7:30 p.m., at the Boathouse Community Center, 101 Riverfront Drive, Augusta, Georgia, where the public can hear details about the decision.
The fish passage project is an environmental mitigation feature of the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project, (SHEP) and is required mitigation in accordance with the Endangered Species Act and WRDA 2016. In accordance with the SHEP Biological Opinion, construction on the fish passage must begin before January 2021.
For more on the fish passage and the New Savannah Bluff Lock and Dam, read the Corps’ past blog posts here. For a history of the Lock and Dam, visit the webpage here.