LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The Army Corps of Engineers will close Murray Lock on the Arkansas River from midnight Sunday, Aug. 30 through Sep. 4, so workers can “dewater” it to assess and repair the downstream lock gates.
Murray Lock is located in Little Rock below the Big Dam Bridge. The lock closure will not affect the bridge.
The public is invited to stop by the Big Dam Bridge during the dewatering to see the empty lock chamber and to learn more about the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System. Murray Lock was last dewatered in 2000.
Because no vessels will be allowed to lock through during this six-day period, officials at the Corps’ Little Rock District advise commercial shippers and pleasure boaters to plan accordingly.
Corps officials say that while this scheduled closure may inconvenience boaters and commercial shippers, it is preferable to a breakdown that can result in long, unscheduled lock closures.
During this dewatering, a temporary dam will be installed outside the downstream lock gates. Then the water in the lock is pumped out to allow access to areas normally under water. Workers are then able to inspect the downstream lock gates and repair worn or damaged parts.
Should work be completed ahead of schedule, the lock will reopen at that time.
Release no. 15-071