‘It’s a shame that right when downtown has it going on, gets it all going on, they come and drain the river.”
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is in the process of lowering the Savannah River, with the stated goal being to simulate the conditions Augustans can expect when a fixed weir replaces the New Savannah Bluff Lock and Dam.
“This legislation fails to address the needs and concerns of my district back home in Georgia-12, specifically relating to the New Savannah Bluff Lock and Dam. Myself, along with stakeholders in the community, worry that the bill language is not a long-term solution to the future of this project. For this reason, I voted against S. 612 and will continue to work hand-in-hand with the community to produce a plan that all parties involved feel confident in.”Congressman Rick Allen (R-Ga.-12) December 8, 2016
“Stakeholders at the lake pay attention. Those folks with resources in the river pay attention. But most folks around here just don’t interact with the Savannah River,” according to Robert Williams.
“It’s a shame that right when downtown has it going on, gets it all going on, they come and drain the river.”
Williams started Roux’s Catering one block from the river in downtown Augusta over twenty years ago. He and his wife Natalie also own a cabin at Clarkes Hill Lake.
“Dropping the water one or two feet is huge. The river isn’t that deep, and the banks aren’t steep at all. It sort of slopes. So it’s more noticeable.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is in the process of lowering the Savannah River, with the stated goal to simulate the conditions Augusta can expect when a fixed weir replaces the New Savannah Bluff Lock and Dam
“From a day-to-day operations standpoint, it’s our drinking water,” Davis said. “All of those things are tied to the river, so it is a resource that we have to, not only take care of, but it is a resource that we’ve got to be good stewards of.”Augusta Mayor Hardie Davis quoted in the Metro Spirit July 12, 2017
The process of what to do with the lock and dam has drug on for many years, and the deadline is now looming. The project has gained a head of steam with the harbor dredging in Savannah, and the corps says we can expect a final decision in August.
“I am in constant contact with all stakeholders involved in the ongoing discussions about the future of the New Savannah Bluff Lock and Dam,” Allen said in a statement. “My staff and I are diligently working through the legislative process to make sure the solution best suits the needs of the Augusta area.”U.S. Rep. Rick Allen, quoted in the Athens Banner Herald, July 12, 2017
On a controversial local issue, (U.S. Rep. Rick) Allen said the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers “has to figure out” what to do at the New Savannah Lock and Dam, which was decommissioned and is crumbling into the Savannah River, prompting fear among some riverfront dwellers water levels will drop if a fix isn’t found.August 23, 2018 AUGUSTA CHRONICLE
Several more steps must be completed before a final decision can be made. One of these steps is the release of the draft report to the public for full review, scheduled for Feb. 14.
The formal public comment period will begin on the day the report is released.
The public will have a 30-day period to review all the work, modelling and analysis and to respond with concerns over the report as well as observations from this simulation with written comments.
Savannah District officials will address each comment in writing in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act.
As part of the 30-day comment period Savannah District officials plan to hold an interactive workshop in the Augusta area in early March where people can attend to learn more about the report through various stations staffed with experts, as well as provide comments either in writing or through dictation.
The workshop date will be announced once confirmed.
The study is scheduled for completion in June and the final decision is anticipated in August by the Commanding General of the Corps’ South Atlantic Division.