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Official: Chiquita Lock could reopen by Tuesday

By Staff | Oct 9, 2009

If repairs remain on schedule, the Chiquita Boat Lock is set to reopen next week.
According to city Public Works Director Chuck Pavlos, crews began pouring concrete Thursday and will continue today. If all goes well, the lock will reopen to boat traffic by Tuesday.
Pavlos said the city is installing new plates, hinges and concrete in an effort to get the lock operating again.
“We are using quick-drying concrete and we hope it will be strong enough to fit the gate and lock back on its hinges and have it operation by Tuesday,” he said in a prepared statement.
City spokeswoman Connie Barron said the city does annual maintenance on the lock to ensure it operates smoothly. She added that maintenance was scheduled this week, but the lock malfunctioned a few days prior.
“We want to try to do regular maintenance to make sure what happened on Friday does not happen again,” Barron said.
The lock consists of two gates.
The east gate faces the freshwater side of the Camelot Canal and Southwest Spreader Waterway, while the west gate faces the brackish saltwater of the Caloosahatchee on the other side. A hydrolic system operates both gates.
As boats enter the lock, the two gates keep the water sources separate.
Barron said the west gate is being repaired.
Though she did not know the cost of the current repairs, Barron said the city spent $400,000 in 2007 on the lock, and it has been operating well the last two years.
According to the city’s Web site, the Chiquita Boat Lock is located approximately 2.75 statute miles from the Sanibel Causeway Bridge and is operated by the Marine Services Division of the Cape Coral Parks & Recreation Department to help manage boat traffic and water levels.