UPDATE: Hazard at Nickajack lock repaired, smooth sailing ahead
UPDATE: Good news, boaters! The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers crews have repairs the large piece of metal armor plating that was dangling from the side of the Nickajack Dam lock.
They also say that all locking restrictions at Nickajack Lock have been lifted and operation of the lock has returned to normal.
Boaters can call the Nickajack Lock at 423-942-3985 for more information if needed.
PREVIOUS STORY: If you're planning on passing through the Nickajack Lock this weekend you're going to have to be a little extra careful. He said they're planning on more boats coming through due to the holiday weekend.
Lock Master Paul Weaver said they're not sure how the armor became dislodged.
"I don't know if a tow boat hit or I don't know the concrete just gave way around it," said Weaver. "But we do have a plan in place, we're getting a crane down early next week."
The hanging piece of metal is part of the original 1967 structure, it's holding on by just a few anchors, according to Weaver. He said people that go through need to be a little extra cautious.
"It's subject to fall if struck so we're right now keeping the traffic away from it," said Weaver.
They're asking boats to call the lock operator at 423-942-3985 or radio in.
"You can contact them on channel 13, 14 or 16 and that's on a Marine VHF radio," said Weaver.
He said if you're traveling downstream you will need to stay to the left or to your "port" side when traveling downstream. If you're going upstream you need to stay on your right or "starboard" side.
"And you'll be still about 70 ft away from the hazard so you will not hit your vessel," said Weaver.
PREVIOUS STORY: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is warning boaters of a large piece of metal armor plating is hanging unsteadily from the lock wall at Nickajack Lock near Jasper, TN.
They warn that the metal is creating a hazard to navigation vessels and crews transiting the lock, according to their Facebook post.
But because of the location of the armor plating, it may not be removed until the week of July 8-12, 2019.
Until the hazard has been cleared, commercial lockages will be restricted to two barges wide and must remain on the left descending wall to avoid the hazard.
Recreational boats will be allowed to use the lock with extreme caution through the riverside miter gate only until crews can remove the armor plating.
All recreational traffic must contact the lock operator on duty at 423-942-3985 or marine channel 13/14/16 to get specific instructions prior to locking through.
Commercial vessel operators can also expect additional delays because the tow haulage unit is not operational at this time, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.