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City set to close boat lock again for more repairs

By Staff | Nov 5, 2009

The Chiquita Boat Lock will close again Nov. 16 for final repairs, according to city spokeswoman Connie Barron.
The repairs are tied to the recent troubles with the lock, but barring any unforeseen problems, the lock will be fully operational once the final repairs are completed, she said.
Beginning at 4 p.m., crews will add flotation tanks to the gates to help reduce stress on the hinges, according to a prepared statement from the city.
The lock will reopen at 8 a.m. Nov 18.
“It will really only be closed one full day,” Barron said. “We hope it won’t be too much of an inconvenience.”
The lock was out of service from Oct 2-14 after the west gate became inoperable. The structure required major concrete and steel work.
According to the city, the final modification should help to stabilize the gates and improve the lock’s operation.
Barron said the lock was reopened before final repairs were made because the flotation devices needed for the lock gates were unavailable and had to be ordered.
The price of the repairs is estimated at $110,000.
“It may come in under that figure, but that’s the maximum amount,” she said.
The city plans on conducting annual maintenance on the lock. Barron said the maintenance will probably fall on about this same time next year.
She added that regardless of the preventative maintenance, the lock is bound to have some problems.
“There’s always going to be issues. It’s mechanical and gets a lot of use,” Barron said.