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Army Corps to keep Crooked River Lock in Alanson closed to complete repairs

Detroit District
Published Sept. 15, 2023
Updated: Sept. 15, 2023
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District (USACE) fully restored operations Wednesday morning, July 5, to the Crooked River Lock in Alanson, Michigan.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District (USACE) fully restored operations Wednesday morning, July 5, to the Crooked River Lock in Alanson, Michigan.

The Crooked River Lock in Alanson, Michigan will remain closed for the remainder of the season to perform critical maintenance this fall. This decision was made Thursday, September 14, 2023 between the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District (USACE) and Emmet County leadership for the safety of the public.

Replacement parts for a faulty safety relay allowing the lock to reliably open and close remain on backorder. The Detroit District, in conjunction with Emmet County, which operates the lock under an agreement with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, decided Thursday to close the lock early for the season for safety of the public, and to conduct a thorough inspection and development of a robust repair plan to prevent unscheduled 2024 closures.

Boaters will not be able to pass through the lock between the mouth of Crooked River and Crooked Lake during the closure.

Historically, the Crooked River Lock shifts to weekend operations in October and closes in November to overwinter.

“Closing the lock early for the season will allow our maintenance team time to develop a plan and make long-term repairs to this important recreational lock, providing safe and reliable passages for the public,” said Cindy Jarema, Chief of Operations & Maintenance for Detroit District.

The Detroit District plans to perform maintenance this fall, including the replacement and repair of the electrical safety relay and an inspection of the lock to determine additional future maintenance funding requirements.

The lock is part of the popular, 36-mile Inland Waterway beginning at Lake Huron. The structure became necessary after dredging in the 1950s to maintain the water levels in Crooked River and Pickerel Lake.

An estimated 10,000 lockages are performed annually through the lock, which results in passage for up to 40,000 recreational boat passengers during the spring to fall season.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District, maintains a navigation system of 81 harbors and channels joining lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, St. Clair and Erie. 

The Detroit District provides vital public engineering services in peace and war to secure our Nation, protect the environment, energize our economy and reduce risks from natural disasters.

For more details, contact Detroit District Public Affairs Specialist Brandon Hubbard, (313) 500-3251.                                                                


Brandon Hubbard
(313) 500-3251
477 Michigan Ave. Detroit, MI 48226

Release no. 23-022

Chick Lock

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