Army Corps of Engineers propose alternatives for Saltwater Barrier

By By John Guidroz / American Press

The Army Corps of Engineers New Orleans District has proposed some alternatives for the operating hours of the Calcasieu River

Saltwater Barrier in an effort to reduce the impact to recreational and commercial boat traffic.

The Corps issued a public notice on Wednesday describing the current operating hours and the proposed alternatives.

The current service hours are 7 a.m.-7 p.m. According to the notice, the gates are closed “when the structure is unmanned,”

except when river stages north of the barrier are high enough to allow for drainage.

One proposal would keep the same operating hours while leaving the navigation gates open when the structure is unmanned.

Another proposal would leave the gates open while unmanned “unless the salinity readings reach 50 grains per gallon at the

intersection of West Fork and Calcasieu River, one mile north of the structure,” according to the notice.

The public has 30 days to comment or make suggestions on the proposed modifications.

The barrier’s original operating hours were 6 a.m.-10 p.m., but those hours were reduced in December because of a drop in

federal funding to the Inland Marine Transportation System.

According to the notice, the reduced hours “have had a negative impact on vessel traffic, both recreational and commercial,

especially during the summer months.”

For more, read Thursday’s edition of the American Press.

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