Vicksburg, Miss… The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Vicksburg District is currently inspecting the Columbia Lock and Dam located on the Ouachita River approximately seven miles upstream of Columbia, Louisiana.
USACE is inspecting the lock and dam for deficiencies after identifying seepage and sand boils near the structure and voids under the lock wall in early July. The inspection will be used to inform ongoing remediation work focused on repairing the structure and minimizing future risks.
In order to reduce the pressure on the structure and perform necessary inspections, USACE will lower water elevation on the upper pools on the Ouachita River near Monroe, Louisiana. Beginning July 5, 2018, the elevation in the upper pools will drop approximately six inches per day for a week.
The lock and dam will be closed to traffic until further notice, providing USACE an opportunity to determine if further regulation of the pool levels is required and when the lock will reopen to traffic.
The Ouachita River originates in Polk County, Arkansas, and flows 510 miles in a southerly direction to Jonesville, Louisiana, where it converges with the Tensas and Little rivers to form the Black River.
The Vicksburg District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 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 people.
Release no. 18-040