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Partners and Stakeholders:

This letter is to provide advance notice regarding upcoming rehabilitation work at all three of the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) owned and operated Cape Fear River Lock and Dams. Work is scheduled to begin in early January 2023. The goal of the work is to restore functionality to the three Cape Fear River Lock and Dams so both vessels and fish may be locked through once again. In the interest of keeping the USACE’s partners and stakeholders informed, the below information outlines both a schedule and the basic work to be performed.

The work is being funded by the fiscal year (FY) 2022 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and will be performed by the USACE’s Marietta Ohio-based Regional Rivers Repair Fleet who specialize in work on locks and dams.

Beginning in early January 2023, all mechanical components of the three lock chambers will be repaired, reworked, or otherwise replaced. The work will focus on the four miter gates (two upstream gates and two downstream gates) and their fill valves as they comprise the main working components allowing the lock to function. Each miter gate will be lifted from the chamber by crane and evaluated for needed repairs. Repairs will be made onsite, or parts sent off to be machined and brought back. The gates, once repaired, will be reset back in their original locations. Most of the work will be performed on land, with “in-water” work involving removing and then resetting gates once repaired. In addition, repairs to associated gear boxes, gear arms, anchor arms, and safety railings will be included.

In total, work at all three Cape Fear River Lock and Dams will take several months to complete. Work will necessitate the entire area around each lock and dam to be closed and unavailable to any visitors for approximately 45 – 60 days each. This closure timeline may vary based on weather conditions and the scale of repair work needed at each location. To reiterate, during construction the areas will be closed to all visitors unless plans for access have been clearly communicated, coordinated, and approved well in advance.

The USACE understands that public interest in the Cape Fear River Locks and Dams is high and that various stakeholders may request access for research or other needs during proposed work-related construction. Please coordinate with the USACE as soon as possible to discuss access requests. The USACE will accommodate reasonable requests to the extent practicable, but this work and the safety of all involved is the USACE’s priority. Your patience is appreciated.

A record of environmental consideration will be prepared in accordance with the Council on Environmental Quality and USACE requirements for implementing the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969 (33 CFR 230), as amended.

The USACE is eager to be able to bring the Cape Fear River Lock and Dams back to their full authorized functionality. Any questions about the work or requests for access may be directed to Ms. Dana Matics, the Piedmont Assistant Operations Project Manager. Ms. Matics can be reached at 919-542-4501 x2423 or at Dana.L.Matics@usace.army.mil.


Mark Wilmes
Operations Project Manager
Piedmont Operations

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