WILMINGTON, NC- Officials of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Wilmington District are planning to close the recreational area at Lock and Dam 2 on the Cape Fear River located near Elizabethtown. Closure of the recreation area could begin as early as November 2017 and will remain closed to the public until sometime later in summer 2018. The closure will affect access to the entire recreation area including the picnic shelter, fishing pier/boat ramp, and both parking areas.
The primary reason for this closure is to allow construction of repairs to a significant scour hole located downstream of the dam. Turbulence resulting from water flowing over the dam has scoured out a deep hole in the river bottom below the dam. Without these repairs, the scour hole could continue to encroach on the toe of the dam and could ultimately threaten its structural integrity.
"The scour hole is a dam safety-related repair that must be completed to ensure the integrity of the dam," explained Wilmington District Shallow Draft Navigation Program Project Manager Jim Medlock. "The repairs will likely involve using heavy equipment plus on-site storage and placement of quarry rock into the scour hole. Dump trucks and other equipment coming and going into the site will not only make the ramp unusable and unsafe for the public but will also create too much of a hazard for the public to enter the recreational area."
Medlock said a construction contract will likely be awarded in late September 2017 with repairs being initiated as soon as November 2017. He said the construction completion schedule will be heavily dependent upon weather and other factors that may slow or stop repairs such as fluctuating river levels. Also, no in-water construction activities will be allowed between March 15th and June 1st to accommodate sensitive anadromous fish activity in the vicinity of the project area. He said that it is possible that work could progress well into summer 2018 or later before all construction is completed.
"We understand that this is a very important recreation area to the local public and to Elizabethtown, and we regret that the area must be closed," Medlock said. "However, we will make every effort to complete the work and reopen this area to the public as quickly as possible."
Release no. 18-028