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Old 04-14-2021, 05:19 PM   #1
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St. Lucie Lock Closure Proposal

Plan to shut down St. Lucie Lock for three months early next year:

1. Notice to Navigation

Notice is given that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is taking public comments until June 15, 2021, and notifying the public, boaters, marinas, and commercial and recreational vessels which travel through the St. Lucie Lock on the Okeechobee Waterway, in Stuart, Florida, that the St. Lucie Lock will be closed for maintenance between January 2, 2022 and March 31, 2022.

This will be the first dewatering and total closure of the St. Lucie Lock in 10 years. Maintenance is necessary to repair aging and damaged infrastructure, in addition to improving public and vessel safety. Repairs will require the lock chamber to be dewatered and for crews to perform inspections, replace corroded steel structures, paint, install new gate seals, and repair Manatee Protection System components. During the closure, barges, barge-mounted cranes, and divers will be working in the lock entrance, requiring vessel operators in the area to use minimal speed and caution for safety.
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Old 04-14-2021, 06:00 PM   #2
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What is the point in taking comments if the decision has already been made ?

Dear John Q Public;

We have to give the public a chance to talk, but we don't have to listen to them!

Sincerely,
Your Gov't
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Old 04-14-2021, 06:50 PM   #3
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Just perfect timing. NOT! Guess we’ll be going around.
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Old 04-14-2021, 07:54 PM   #4
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Someone have a link for public comments?


Yes, this closure will piss a few people off....
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Old 04-14-2021, 10:56 PM   #5
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I bet not nearly as much as if it breaks down and it's closed for even longer with no notice.
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Old 04-14-2021, 11:03 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seevee View Post
Someone have a link for public comments?


Yes, this closure will piss a few people off....
https://www.saj.usace.army.mil/Missi...r-Maintenance/
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Old 04-15-2021, 01:09 AM   #7
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I bet not nearly as much as if it breaks down and it's closed for even longer with no notice.
BD
Excellent point!
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Old 04-15-2021, 05:40 PM   #8
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Canaveral Lock underwent a similar three month maintenance cycle in early 2020. Since it was the first time, in ten years, that the lock had been completely dewatered and major maintenance performed, it took some time. As with all infrastructure, planned preventative maintenance, with short outages done with regular periodicity sure beats the one big closure to do 'catch up work'.
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Old 04-15-2021, 10:34 PM   #9
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Locks all over the country close for similar reasons. The Erie went through it recently. The Illinois River in 2020. Makes sense.

Why public comments? Well, what I've generally seen from them is slight tweaking of the schedule. Normally they listen to commercial ships though and that's not relevant here. However, they've been known to adjust schedules based on comments. They can't reasonably just decide they won't do the work.
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Old 04-16-2021, 06:11 AM   #10
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Locks all over the country close for similar reasons. The Erie went through it recently. The Illinois River in 2020. Makes sense.

.
The 2020 Erie closures (late openings really) were a covid related problem. Normally NY (and Canada) does major maint on several locks each year during the winter. In 2020 all of that work stopped in Feb and didn't resume until May putting their normal work several months behind. Some didn't open until mid- Aug.
FL doesn't have on "off season" to close so it is controversial.
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Old 04-16-2021, 07:22 AM   #11
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I would argue strongly that we all make a comment, who knows, it might work a bit. But it would be nice to be on the same page.


Gut feeling, that moving it up a month, even two weeks and opening mid March would make a huge impact in helping folks get thru to the east and head up north for their annual migration or the Loop trip. (Especially the loop trip as most folk like to get up north early spring). Perhaps start the construction Dec 1st.



Thoughts?


Anyone personally know the governor?
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Old 04-16-2021, 07:43 AM   #12
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Is the timing of the closure to go alone with the drier time of the year?
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Old 04-16-2021, 08:08 AM   #13
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Moving the schedule up a month may not be cost or time efficient. The Thanksgiving-Christmas-New Year holiday means two weeks lost or high overtime charges. Families may put a high priority on the holidays given last year’s COVID restrictions. Depending on the contractors, workers may not be local.

Someone will be inconvenienced no matter when the it is scheduled and they probably don’t want to do it during hurricane season.

There is also much work to do before starting - planning, contractor bidding/selection, procurement and equipment/material staging.

The USACoE knows how to manage these projects. We should be thankful that they operate and maintain the system as it is primarily recreational.
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Old 04-16-2021, 08:13 AM   #14
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Plus moving it up affects more snowbirders I live around than the current schedule...if anything...back 10-15 days works in their favor. Many just arrive around that time or before and some fly home for the holidays and resume moving the first 2 weeks of Jan. They then don't start moving gain till Apr/May.
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Old 04-16-2021, 08:17 AM   #15
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Quote:
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Someone have a link for public comments? Yes, this closure will piss a few people off....
Mechanic: "How often do you change the oil in your car?"
Me: "What? You are supposed to change the oil?"
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Old 04-20-2021, 02:42 AM   #16
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When I lived in South Florida the annual closing of the lock each year was a given, the Notice to Mariners put out the schedule each year. We would plan our crossings to coincide with the schedules. I think the closings where for a shorter period of time, possibly weeks not months?
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Old 04-21-2021, 11:41 AM   #17
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Periodic maintenance

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flatsflyer View Post
... I think the closings where for a shorter period of time, possibly weeks not months?
They were ... but when you go years without doing preventative maintenance annually you get into the situtation the lock (and Port Canaveral, last year) are in. The choice is do a little each year, or do a lot after letting things build up. I'm a fan of doing a little every year - even though that typically adds up to a little more $$.
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