People living in Massac County may start hearing loud noises within the next few weeks because Brookport Lock and Dam 52 on the Ohio River is set to be demolished.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced on Monday a public meeting has been scheduled for 6 p.m. tonight, July 11 at Brookport City Hall. All area residents are encouraged to attend to be informed on how the demolition of the dam will proceed.
The contract was recently awarded to C.J. Mahan Construction Co., located in Columbus, Ohio. To perform this work, which could take up to two years to complete, the contractor will utilize blasting methods to fracture portions of the concrete structure.
This will include two test blasts and a series of daily production blasts.
Test blasts will take approximately one day each. The first test blast will be completed on the Kentucky abutment and the second will be performed on the downstream approach wall. It is anticipated test blasting will occur in late July.
Production blasting will commence shortly after test blasting is completed with daily blasting activities Monday through Saturday between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Access to the blasting area will be controlled by closing the public boat ramp in Brookport and stopping all river traffic between the Brookport Bridge and I-24 Bridge during blasting operations.
There will also be three audible safety warnings used each day of blasting:
• Warning Signal -- A one-minute series of long audible signals 5 minutes prior to the blast signal.
• Blast Signal -- A series of short audible signals 1 minute prior to the shot; and
• All Clear Signal -- A prolonged audible signal following the inspection of the blast area.
The safety perimeter will be maintained until the "all clear" has been issued.
Audible safety signals will be produced using an air horn, siren or similar device capable of projecting the signal to all personnel in the blast area.