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Green River Dam No. 5 removal work to resume in Summer 2024

Louisville District
Published Jan. 23, 2024
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Louisville District, in partnership with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and The Nature Conservancy (TNC), plans to resume work on the removal of the Green River Lock and Dam No. 5 on the Green River in Kentucky. Demolition efforts are scheduled to resume as early as May/June 2024, depending on appropriate river levels.

Dam removal efforts were temporarily suspended in July 2022 due to concerns from the Edmonson County Water District (ECWD) regarding water levels. Since that time, USACE and our partners have performed additional surveys, data analysis, and additional modeling to further analyze the effects of dam removal on water levels in the river under varying conditions.

Additionally, in conjunction with USACE and USFWS, TNC led efforts to develop an array of interim and long-term alternatives for ECWD to address their concerns for potential future low water events. USACE representatives attended the Edmonson County Water District’s Board meeting today, Jan. 23, and provided technical perspective on the benefits and drawbacks for each alternative so that ECWD can make an informed decision.

“Despite not having a water supply mission on the Green River, the U.S Army Corps of Engineers has worked collaboratively with our local, state, federal and inter-agency partners for nearly two years to understand any potential impacts, and we are committed to continuing to assist Edmonson County Water District as they develop both interim and long-term solutions to their water supply challenges," said Louisville District Commander Col. L. Reyn Mann. “After years of discussion, immediate action is now required. Lock and Dam 5 is nearly 100-years old and has exceeded its service life, posing a great safety risk. Dam removal will improve public safety, increase recreation opportunities, and enhance aquatic habitat as it will restore free-flowing conditions to 73 miles of the Green River. We are encouraged by ECWD’s efforts today. Their passion for supplying water to the local community is evident. We applaud their board for taking meaningful steps toward a solution.”

Green River Lock and Dam No. 5 was built in 1933-34 for commercial use, but operation of the structure ceased in 1951 as it was no longer needed for navigation. Federal legislation, under the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act, was signed into law in 2016 deauthorizing the lock and dam site from the USACE inventory and directing the Government to convey the property for the purpose of dam removal. Unmaintained structures create public safety risks and can breach unexpectedly, as occurred at Lock and Dam 6 in 2016. Lock and Dam 5 is nearly 100-years old and has exceeded its service life.


Louisville District Public Affairs

Release no. 24-011

Chick Lock

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