US Army Corps of Engineers
Institute for Water Resources Website

News Story Manager

Inland Waterways Users Board Meets in Birmingham

Published March 13, 2015
Inland Waterways Users Board members and other participants (pictured here on February 24, 2015) visited the Holt and Oliver Locks and Dams along the Black Warrior River.  The river is formed about 22 miles west of Birmingham.  Holt Lake, formed by the Holt Lock and Dam, Oliver Lake, formed by the Oliver Lock and Dam, and another reservoir encompass the entire course of the river for its upper 60 miles.  It stretches southeast into central Tuscaloosa County and Tuscaloosa, the largest city on the river.

Inland Waterways Users Board members and other participants (pictured here on February 24, 2015) visited the Holt and Oliver Locks and Dams along the Black Warrior River. The river is formed about 22 miles west of Birmingham. Holt Lake, formed by the Holt Lock and Dam, Oliver Lake, formed by the Oliver Lock and Dam, and another reservoir encompass the entire course of the river for its upper 60 miles. It stretches southeast into central Tuscaloosa County and Tuscaloosa, the largest city on the river.

ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA. The 74th meeting of the Inland Waterways Users Board (the Board) was held on February 25, 2015, in Birmingham, Alabama. The meeting was chaired by Mr. Martin Hettel of AEP River Operations and was attended by nine of the ten current Board members. The Deputy Commanding General for Civil & Emergency Operations (DCG-CEO) Major General John Peabody presided for the Corps, as the Board’s Executive Director. Also attending the meeting were representatives of the four Federal observers: Ms. Marie-Therese Dominguez attended for the Honorable Ms. Jo-Ellen Darcy, the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works (ASA(CW)); Mr. James Murphy, a "Gateway Director" attended as the representative for the Maritime Administration (MARAD); Mr. Nicholas Marathon attended for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA); and Mr. Gary Magnuson, a senior policy advisor for the CMTS, attended for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration NOAA). Colonel Jon Chytka, the Mobile District commander, provided welcoming comment at the meeting for the district. Mr. AL Lee and Ms. Susan Whittington from South Atlantic Division also attended.

The minutes for Board Meeting No. 73 were unanimously approved. A number of follow-up issues from Board Meeting No. 73 were also addressed: Mr. Patrick Donovan from the Corps Planning Inland Navigation Center of Expertise (PCXIN-RED) discussed the Lock Performance Monitoring System (LPMS) data reporting and accuracy issue; Mr. Jeffrey McKee, the Chief of Navigation in HQ USACE, provided a summation of the lock closures notification and communications coordination process; and Mr. Steve Jones from MVD provided a brief review of the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal (IHNC) Lock financial history and the funding history for the Navigation and Ecosystem Sustainability Program (NESP) for the Upper Mississippi River and Illinois Waterway.

A number of items were addressed during the meeting. Mr. McKee provided details of the FY15 Work Plan and the FY16 President’s Budget for Navigation. The status of the Inland Waterways Trust Fund (IWTF) and Project Updates for Olmsted Locks and Dam (L&D), Lower Monongahela Locks 2-3-4 Replacement, Emsworth L&D, Kentucky Lock, Chickamauga Lock, Lockport major rehabilitation and others were provided, and Mr. David Dale from LRD provided detailed project updates for Olmsted L&D and the Lower Mon 2-3-4 projects. He also briefly discussed the efficient funding schedules for the Chickamauga and Kentucky projects, as requested by the Board. Ms. Jeanine Hoey presented the current results of the project priorities and scheduling for the IMTS Capital Investment Strategy (CIS), currently re-evaluating the 2010 Capital Projects Business Model (CPBM) report results. Lastly, the preparation and distribution of the Board’s Annual Report for 2014 was provided.

Only one individual provided a statement during the Public Comment Period: Mr. Spencer Murphy of Canal Barge Company offered his support of the Corps of Engineers assuming the operation and maintenance (O&M) of the surge barriers in the New Orleans area, as was intended by the language in WRRDA 2014.

Major General Peabody concluded the meeting by acknowledging and thanking the well-deserved efforts of Messrs. Wynne Fuller and Danny Hensley of Mobile District, Ms. Mindy Simmons for her involvement in the Users

Board, Ms. Jeanine Hoey for her work with the CIS, and Mr. Jeffrey McKee for handling all things Navigation in HQ USACE.

The technical presentations from the meeting will be added to the Board’s website in the near future at

http://www.waterwaysusers.us/UsersBoardMeetings.htm, which is maintained by IWR.

Learn More

The Inland Waterways Users Board (IWUB) is a Federal advisory board established to monitor the Inland Waterways Trust Fund (IWTF) and to make recommendations to the Army and to Congress on investment priorities using resources from the IWTF. The Board is a critical activity for the Corps. The Deputy Commanding General for Civil and Emergency Operations serves as the Board’s Executive Director and the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works serves as an Inter-Agency Observer, along with representatives of the MARAD, NOAA and the USDA.

For more information, visit IWR

www.iwr.usace.army.mil or

Inland Waterways Users Board

http://www.iwr.usace.army.mil/Missions/Navigation/InlandWaterwaysUsersBoard.aspx