Public Notices

Navigation Notice 21-33: Wilson Lock reopens with restrictions

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District
Published Sept. 2, 2021

Navigation Notice 21-33: Due to the sinking of the upper lock approach wall at Wilson Lock, temporary measures have been implemented to operate the main chamber on a limited basis. Until further notice and effective immediately, the Corps of Engineers will be implementing lockage restrictions. The lock is located at Tennessee River mile 259.4 in Florence, Alabama.

Lockages at Wilson Lock will stop when flows reach 275,000 cfs or spillway gates 1-26 adjacent to the lock are in operation. During this unprecedented event of the absence of the upper approach wall, the Corps of Engineers, U.S. Coast Guard, and Navigation Industry Representatives worked together to develop interim restrictions to safely operate.

Recreation vessels are not restricted at this time and should contact the lock operator on duty to receive specific instructions prior to approaching the lock.

The following restrictions for commercial traffic will be in place effective immediately. Changes or additions to below are at the discretion of the Lockmaster.

1. Towboats are required to have a minimum 300 horsepower per jumbo barge and 750 horsepower per oversize tank barge.

2. No locking of empty tows if sustained winds of 20 mph or higher.

3. DOWNBOUND: (Please reference Diagram 1 on how to approach.)

3.1. Daylight hours only and under good visibility.

3.2. Receive priority during daytime hours.

3.3. Industry provided helper boat must be positioned upstream to assist all downbound lockages regardless of tow size or configuration.

3.4. Tow width cannot exceed 70 feet during approach or when entering the lock.


4.1. Setovers can be done in the chamber with a helper boat.

4.2. Full tow width of 110 foot allowed.

4.3. Nighttime lockages allowed.

4.4. Must have industry provided helper boat for double lockages or towboats with less than 1,800 hp.

4.5. Must build tows on cells.

If spillway gates 1-26 on Wilson Dam are put into operation or flows reach the Action Phase per the 2020-3428 TN River Waterway Management Plan of 275,000 cfs the lock will stop until the situation is evaluated.

Call Clay Askew at 256-764-5223 at Wilson Lock for more information.