Corps seeks comments on recreational lockage policy for Arkansas River McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System

Published March 7, 2013
Recreational Boaters wait to lock through Dardanelle Lock.

Recreational Boaters wait to lock through Dardanelle Lock.

by Little Rock District Public Affairs

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The Army Corps of Engineers, Little Rock District, begins a 30-day comment period March 6 concerning its proposed recreational lockage policy for the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System.

Under the proposed policy, all Arkansas locks except Trimble Lock and Dam outside Fort Smith, Ark., and Ozark Lock and Dam in Ozark, Ark., will close to recreational vessels from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Monday through Thursday excluding federal holidays to allow Corps personnel to focus on maintenance at the locks.

The scheduled maintenance period for Trimble and Ozark will continue to be 8 a.m. to noon daily.

The proposed recreation lockage policy was developed after a series of public workshops last year sought input from all users.

“The navigation industry wants a reliable system and understand that preventive maintenance is important to maintain the system, while recreational users wanted it to be available primarily during the weekends and for large special events,” Little Rock District’s Chief of Operations John Balgavy said. “We recognize the importance of the system to both commercial and recreational traffic and want our policies to achieve the desired goal with minimal impact to users.”

The policy will take into account special scheduled events such as bass tournaments, flotillas, and civic celebrations.

Commercial towboats along with government and emergency response personnel in watercrafts will be locked through during the maintenance windows if the lock is operational.

The comment period will be March 6 through April 4.  Comments can be e-mailed to The proposed policy can we viewed at the following website:

“The Little Rock District will continue working with the public with the aim of making the MKARNS a resilient, reliable, and sustainable system that optimizes the value of the system to all users and beneficiaries while making the best use of available resources,” Balgavy said.

For more information, contact James McKinnie, Little Rock District’s Navigation and Maintenance Section, at 501-324-5739, or email

Laurie Driver

Release no. 13-013