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Green River Locks and Dams 3, 4, 5; 6; Barren River Lock and Dam 1 Disposition Feasibility Study


Green River Locks and Dams 3, 4, 5 and 6 and Barren River Lock and Dam 1 Feasibility Study

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Green River Locks and Dams 3 through 6 and Barren River Lock and Dam 1 were authorized by Congress for navigation, but are no longer in use. The facilities and the pools are no longer operated for navigation purposes by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE); however, the U.S Army still has administrative accountability of the properties, and USACE periodically inspects the facilities. The Green River Locks and Dams 5 and 6 ceased operations in 1951 due to a marked decline in navigation traffic, coupled with increasing operation and maintenance costs. In May 1965, Green River Dam 4 failed, which resulted in the closure of Green River Lock and Dam 4 and also Barren River Lock and Dam 1, as navigation beyond that lock and dam was no longer possible. Green River Lock and Dam 3 remained in operation until 1981 when it was closed due to declining boat traffic. Since the failure of Green River Dam 4, USACE has conducted multiple investigations concerning the feasibility of restoring navigation to the Upper Green River System. These studies have consistently found that the economic benefits from commercial navigation operations would be insufficient to support restoring navigation. The purpose of this study is to provide analysis and recommendations regarding the possible deauthorization and relinquishment of federal control of the facilities. This study was accomplished under the authority of Section 216 of the Flood Control Act of 1970 (P.L. 91-611). This is a general authority for the Secretary of the Army to review completed projects, when found advisable due to changed physical, economic or environmental conditions.

This study reevaluated current uses of the facilities, including the pools formed by the dams and the impacts if the pool were to be lost, either by demolition or failure of the lock and/or dam. The study reassessed the condition and safety of the structures. Finally, the study discussed alternative means to potentially dispose of the facilities in the future following deauthorization of the navigation purpose, as well as potential entities interested in owning the facilities. The recommended plan is to deauthorize commercial navigation at Green River Locks and Dams 3, 4, 5 and 6 and Barren River Lock and Dam 1. Following deauthorization of commercial navigation at these facilities, a logical next step would be to seek disposal of these properties and facilities through the established USACE and GSA procedures as outlined in the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949 and Army regulations. Safety concerns identified at Green River Locks and Dams 3 through 6 and at Barren River Lock and Dam 1, primarily relating to the risk of injuries associated with unauthorized entry to the properties, would be addressed at each site by installing barricades on miter gates, as well as updating signage at the sites. These future "one-time" activities and associated cost estimates will be handled on a case-by-case basis through the established Operation and Maintenance budget process.

By leaving all the locks and dams in their current status, there would be no adverse social impacts (i.e. disruption to ferry services or municipal water supply intakes). As a whole, the plan causes no further negative environmental impacts and facilitates the future disposal of the properties in an efficient manner. Coordination under Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 is concluded for the commercial navigation deauthorization action.  Additional environmental clearances would need to be obtained prior to any final disposition actions, whether under USACE or GSA disposal procedures.  Finally, there are no additional annual Operation and Maintenance costs or construction associated with the recommended plan.

Final Main Report
A - Cultural Resources
B - Geotechnical
C - Hydraulics & Hydrology
D - Environmental Assessment & Finding of No Significant Impact
E - Environmental Baseline Survey
F - Real Estate
G - USFWS Coordination
H - Public Involvement