The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Savannah District is recommending removal of the training wall in the Savannah River which runs roughly down the center of the river for more than a mile through Augusta, Georgia, and North Augusta, South Carolina.
The underwater wall was built in the early 20th century to aid commercial navigation.
Commercial traffic on the Savannah River ended in 1979 and the training wall now serves no federal purpose. The submerged wall and sediment deposited behind it form an obstruction to recreational boaters and other users in the section of the river running through the two cities.
The training wall runs from just downstream of 8th Street to 1,800 feet downstream of the Boathouse Community Center, said USACE.
“By removing the training wall and its associated navigation features (Alternative 2), associated risks to recreationists and their watercraft and special events would be eliminated. New recreational opportunities would be made available with the full width of the river unobstructed,” according to the executive summary of the Corps’ study.
“Removal of the training wall would eliminate all risks, limitations, and economic losses associated with it being an obstruction to recreational navigation and special events. Also, the re-established, unobstructed natural river would provide new opportunities for recreational navigation that otherwise would not exist with the training wall,” the summary stated.
The public will have 30 days to comment on the Tentatively Selected Plan.