Lock&Dam4

The New Savannah Bluff Lock and Dam, located near Augusta Regional Airport at Bush Field, may undergo major changes in the near future, in the wake of recently passed federal legislation.

A planned simulation to drop the pool level of the Savannah River near North Augusta has been postponed due to heavy November and December rainfall, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers website.

At a public presentation in November, the Corps presented its chosen alternative to the New Savannah Bluff Lock and Dam, which would construct a fixed weir with a dry floodplain bench on the Georgia side.

During that meeting, officials announced the Corps would – over the course of a week – lower the pool so residents can see what effect the proposed alternative would have.

According to the release on the website, the simulation has been delayed due to rainfall.

"U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials in the Savannah District now expect to conduct the simulation in early February if runoff rates return to acceptable levels by the end of January," the release says.

During the November meeting, Russell Wicke, corporate communications officer for the Savannah District, said the simulation would lower the river around half a foot every day for around a week, lowering it a total of 3 feet, and leaving it for a week so that residents on either side of the river can see the effects.

Whether or not the simulation will be able to be rescheduled is "undetermined," said Billy Birdwell, spokesperson for the Corps, on Thursday. 

Lindsey Hodges is a general assignment reporter at the Aiken Standard and North Augusta Star. Follow her on Twitter at @LindseyNHodges.