Corps Engineers of Savannah plan to build a rock wall in place of lock and dam

Monday, Feb. 10, 2020
News at 11 O'Clock

Plans for the rock wall that could replace the lock and dam. Engineers would have to carve out land on the Georgia side of the river to make room for the floodplain.

AUGUSTA, GA -- The Savannah River has been the topic of discussion for a while now and the Corps of Engineers' plan to replace the lock and dam with a rock wall raising questions about how it will handle flooding.

"There will be no increase of flood risk with the rock weir." said Russell Wicke, the spokesman for the U.S Army Corps of Engineers in Savnnah.

The Corps plans to place a stationary rock wall upstream from where the lock and dam is now. Then they will widen the river and make a canal which flows to a floodplain. This requires a the Corps to carve out land on the Georgia side of the river.

"It provides a wider river when we do have higher flows." said Wicke.

The rock wall will function in basically the same way as the lock and dam. The biggest difference is that there will not be any locks or mechanisms to control how much of the water will be released at a certain.

When the water gets backed up at the rock wall and begins to go over the crest of the wall it will continue to flow downstream. When the water reaches a certain height that surpasses the crest the water will flow via canal into the floodplain bench.

"Essentially, what it would do is it would widen the river flow for the water." said Wicke. "It can accomodate greater flows without backing up any water."

The floodplain bench will act as space for water so it can move downstream more easily.

By the time the water gets to where the lock and dam is located now there will still 150 miles until the water reaches any populated area.

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