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News Releases

2024 Black Rock Lock Operations Schedule Announced

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Buffalo District
Published Jan. 29, 2024
Updated: Jan. 29, 2024
A tugboat guides a vessel through the Black Rock Lock in Buffalo, New York.

The tugboat New York guides a vessel through the Black Rock Lock in Buffalo, New York, Nov. 21, 2023. The Black Rock Channel is 3.5 miles long, with the lock allowing boats to bypass the rapids and fast currents of the Niagara River at the outlet of Lake Erie, allowing for safe passage. (U.S. Army photo by Ryan Campbell)

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Buffalo District is announcing the Black Rock Lock operations schedule for the 2024 navigation season.

The Black Rock Lock is one of three lock systems operated and maintained by USACE on the U.S. side of the Great Lakes and allows boats to bypass the rapids and fast currents of the Niagara River at the outlet of Lake Erie. More than 2,300 vessels and 94,000 metric tons of commerce passed through the lock in fiscal year 2023.

“For more than 100 years, the Black Rock Lock has served the City of Buffalo and all of the Great Lakes,” said Lt. Col. Colby Krug, commander of the Buffalo District. “We’re really proud of the lock team which operates year-round and maintains the Army Corps’ tradition of safe and effective service to the nation’s waterways.”

Black Rock Lock operations for the 2024 navigation season are as follows:

01 Jan - 04 May

Monday-Friday

First Down Bound is at 8:00 a.m. and Last is at 3:00 p.m. First Up Bound is at 8:30 a.m. and Last is at 3:30 p.m.

05 May - 01 Jun

7 Days per week

First Down Bound is at 8:00 a.m. and Last is at 3:00 p.m. First Up Bound is at 8:30 a.m. and Last is at 3:30 p.m.

02 Jun - 07 Sept

Weekdays

First Down Bound is at 8:00 a.m. and Last is at 9:00 p.m. First Up Bound is at 8:30 a.m. and Last is at 9:30 p.m.

 

Weekends

First Down Bound is at 11:00 a.m. and Last is at 9:00 p.m. First Up Bound is at 11:30 a.m. and Last is at 9:30 p.m.

08 Sep - 19 Oct

7 Days per week

First Down Bound is at 8:00 a.m. and Last is at 3:00 p.m. First Up Bound is at 8:30 a.m. and Last is at 3:30 p.m.

20 Oct – 31 Dec

Monday-Friday

First Down Bound is at 8:00 a.m. and Last is at 3:00 p.m. First Up Bound is at 8:30 a.m. and Last is at 3:30 p.m.

 

Down Bound is traffic heading north from Buffalo operating on the top of each hour. Up Bound is traffic heading south towards Buffalo operating on the bottom of each hour (half-hour).

After Hours commercial traffic delivering commerce needing passage will require a 24-hour prior notice to schedule a transit time with Black Rock Lock. The Lockmaster or his representative will issue a transit time when all safety requirements can be met, and the lock can be properly staffed. The vessel is required to inform the lock of any delays which would change the scheduled transit time. After hours contact information can be provided upon request.

Questions on lock operations may be directed to the Black Rock Lock during scheduled operating hours by calling the lock office at (716) 879-4403 or emailing LRB.BlackRockLock@usace.army.mil.

Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs) are required for all personnel under 16 years of age during the approach and while transiting the Lock and are recommended for all vessel crew members and passengers.

The Black Rock Lock Channel extends from Buffalo Harbor to the Black Rock Lock. It is three and one-half miles in length. The Federal navigation channel has a minimum width of 200 feet. Pleasure crafts are required to yield the right- of-way to commercial vessels due to the confined waters of the channel.

The Black Rock Lock and the Black Rock Channel provide safe passage for vessels to travel between Buffalo Harbor and Tonawanda Harbor around the reefs, rapids and fast currents that exist in the upstream portion of the Niagara River.

The present lock, constructed from 1908-1913 by USACE, continues to operate as designed in support of commercial and recreational traffic. Operation of the lock is essential to business, industry and recreation in Western New York, and across the Great Lakes Navigation System.

More information is available at: https://www.lrd.usace.army.mil/Recreation/Article/3638223/black-rock-lock/

Photo and video available at:

Operations at Buffalo's Black Rock Lock
and
.

 


The Buffalo District delivers world class engineering solutions to the Great Lakes Region, the Army and the Nation in order to ensure national security, environmental sustainability, water resource management, and emergency assistance during peace and war.


Contact
Avery Schneider
7168794410
avery.p.schneider@usace.army.mil
478 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14202
or
Andrew Kornacki
7168794349
andrew.a.kornacki@usace.army.mil
478 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14202

Release no. 24-014

Chick Lock

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