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Published: 03 April 2009   •   Media release

River Murray users will be able to pass through Lock 1 at Blanchetown in South Australia again when it re-opens on Friday, 10 April after three months of important maintenance works.

SA Water has undertaken the work on behalf of the Murray Darling Basin Authority (MDBA).

MDBA Chief Executive Mr Rob Freeman said the lock closure was part of a six-year maintenance program on all of the locks along the river.

He said the grounds and facilities around the lock would also be re-opened to the general public.

"This is the first time the lock chamber at Lock 1 had been emptied since the late 1960s when the wooden gates were replaced with steel," Mr Freeman said.

"The empty locks allowed SA Water to do a comprehensive inspection of the underwater components.

Works carried out on Lock 1 included:

  • building temporary dams on the upstream and downstream ends of the lock chamber;
  • emptying the lock chamber of water;
  • inspecting and repainting the lock chamber gates;
  • replacing the large valves which control the flow of water into and out of the lock chamber; and
  • inspecting the chamber floor.

Mr Freeman said consultation with River Murray tourism operators helped to develop the works program to avoid peak boating seasons and to minimise the interruption.

“The lock and weirs have been operating for more than 80 years and this work will ensure that they continue to operate for a long time to come,” Mr Freeman said.

The next lock scheduled for maintenance is Lock 2 at Waikerie and it is anticipated work will begin in late July. The public will be notified prior to the closure of the lock.


Media contact: MDBA, Sam Leone, phone (02) 6279 0141

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