U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to simulate Savannah River pool lowering later this month

February 8, 2019

People in and around North Augusta and Augusta will get the chance to see how the proposed fixed weir will change the Savannah River pool created by the New Savannah Bluff Lock and Dam.

Incremental adjustments will begin at the lock and dam on Saturday, and the target water elevations will be reached around Thursday, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The levels will be held for approximately seven days, according to a release on the Corps’ website.

A fixed weir with a floodplain bench on the Georgia side is the Corps’ recommended alternative to the New Savannah Bluff Lock and Dam.

The Lock and Dam was deauthorized by the Water Infrastructure Improvement for the Nation, or WIIN, Act.

The simulation, which will incrementally lower the pool, will model conditions that would be caused by the fixed weir.

“The fixed weir is expected to decrease the water level about 1 to 2 feet at the 5th Street Bridge gauge during average flow conditions in the downtown Augusta area,” the release says. It adds that because of increased rainfall since November, river flows have been greater than average and the simulation may appear more dramatic than “what is typically observed in downtown Augusta between June and October.

The Corps’ draft report will also be released on the day of the pool simulation, Thursday. A 30-day comment period will allow the public to view the report and send comments to the Corps.

During a November 2018 meeting, Col. Daniel Hibner, Commander of the Savannah District of the Corp of Engineers, said the the recommended plan is not a final decision. The final report decision would come in June 2019, the design period would be October 2019 until September 2020, with construction beginning October 2020, a slide shown at the meeting said.

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