The beloved Lock and Dam No. 2 on the Cape Fear River near Elizabethtown has been reopened as of Friday, November 8, 2019, according to Terri Dennison with the Town of Elizabethtown. The Lock and Dam has been closed for over two years due to hurricanes and high waters.
The project first objective was to fill a scour hole at the William O. Huske Lock and Dam No. 2 created during Hurricane Matthew in 2016. However, the repairs were plagued with numerous delays due to high water on the Cape Fear River. The Lock and Dam No. 2 and its recreational area has been closed to the public while work was taking place for more two years. In 2017, there was a Rebuild NC Plan made for Bladen County which included plans for the repairs to Lock and Dam No. 2.
On November 6, 2017 the officials of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Wilmington District announced the plans to close the recreational area at Lock and Dam 2. The plans were for the recreation area to remain closed to the public until sometime later in the summer of 2018.
However, a year ago in November of 2018 Lisa Parker, a spokesperson with the US Army Corps of Engineers, announced the project had been shut down for several weeks due to high water on the Cape Fear River from Hurricane Florence.
Elizabethtown Assistant Town Manager Pat DeVane reported the high water in the river was causing the contractor not operate and the equipment on the job was flooded during Hurricane Florence.
DeVane said there was a lot of damage to the equipment being used to work on the project including a barge that was lost.
The scour hole was a dam safety-related repair that had to be completed to ensure the integrity of the dam. Now, all areas affected by the closure are open including the picnic shelter, fishing pier, boat ramp, and both parking areas.
A re-opening ceremony for both the Lock and Dam No. 2 and the fishing pier at Tory Hole Park will be scheduled a later date.