MAITLAND, Fla., March 17, 2017 -- A large-scale renovation of the Moss Bluff Lock and Dam in Marion County is scheduled to begin in mid-April and work is already underway to prepare the site. The St. Johns River Water Management District operates and maintains the structure, which serves as a navigational aid and flood control structure on the Ocklawaha River.
"Regular maintenance of our water control structures is necessary to protect people and property from the damage that flooding can cause," said St. Johns River Water Management District Executive Director Dr. Ann Shortelle. "Refurbishing this structure ensures we are meeting federal flood control standards established by our partner, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers."
Prior to construction, the area will be temporarily diked and dried out to allow access to portions of the structure that are usually underwater.
During the work, the structure will be inoperable. Lake levels will be managed using the navigational lock and upstream spillways, possibly causing a temporary suspension of navigation through the lock. Additional notices, signs and cable barriers will be posted in the area to alert boaters who use the lock of the temporary suspensions.
The district will temporarily lower lake levels by 8 inches in Lake Griffin to facilitate the work. District staff will continue to monitor Lake Griffin, which is upstream from the Moss Bluff Lock and Dam, during the work to ensure appropriate lake levels are maintained.
The project aims to repair damaged and aging concrete, as well as repair and paint walls, safety barriers and fencing. The work is necessary to ensure the operational readiness of the dam and meet other federal requirements. Work is scheduled to begin in April 2017 and is expected to run through August 2017. The total project cost is $1.8 million.
The district operates three locks and dams in its 18-county service area to help manage lake levels. Located in Marion County on the edge of the Ocala National Forest, the Moss Bluff Lock and Dam was reconstructed in 1968 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to assist with flood control as well as the passage of boats along the Ocklawaha River.