River users in Sunraysia are advised that the Mildura lock will be closed and the weir pool lowered from late autumn while major, long-standing maintenance work is completed.
This will involve closing the lock for up to four months for detailed inspection and repair work.
MDBA River Management head David Dreverman said river communities could rightly expect safe and efficient operations of all river infrastructure.
“This job has to be done about every 15 years to prevent breakdowns at the lock, and it makes sense to do it at the same time as the work on the Mildura weir,” he said.
“The work on the weir includes structural repairs and installation of six new trestles. This will require the weir pool to be lowered for about 10 weeks from mid to late May.
“The timing will be finalised in the coming weeks, after speaking with local community and industry groups.
“We’re very aware of the community’s needs around the river, so it’s important that we take advice from local tourism, irrigation and other groups to minimise the impact.
“Our aim is to start the lock works after the busy Easter period and finish the weir upgrade before the irrigation season starts. We’ll only know the likely duration of work on the lock once
it’s empty and we’re able to do a thorough inspection.”
Mr Dreverman said work at the lock would include things like taking off the main gates for sandblasting and repainting, updating the valves and checking the integrity of the lock chamber.
“The purpose of the weir upgrade is to improve the safety of operations by installing new mechanised trestles to regulate the pool height and flow of water through the weir,” he said.
“This is a job that has been done manually for the past 90 years using large timber drop bars.”
Mr Dreverman said the result for people in Sunraysia will be improved and updated river operations.
The MDBA will issue further advice on this year’s work in the weeks to come.
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