- Associated Press - Saturday, February 15, 2014

VIOLET, La. (AP) - The Army Corps of Engineers will close the Violet Canal to shipping beginning Feb. 17 for up to 75 days.

The waterway connects St. Bernard Parish with the Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet.

The Times-Picayune reported (http://bit.ly/1kw6RwP) the closure is necessary so the Army Corps, the New Orleans Levee District and the Lake Borgne Levee District can repair the Bayou Dupre sector gate, also known as the Violet Lock.

Army Corps project manager Chris Gilmore said the gate was replaced after Hurricane Katrina to provide additional protection against storm surge.

The new gate reaches an elevation of 32 feet, Gilmore said, compared to the old gate’s height of 15.5 feet.

Repairs to the Industrial Canal lock in New Orleans in January caused commercial shipment delays. But Gilmore said the Dupre Sector gate repairs are part of a maintenance project that began before the 2013 hurricane season. With the season over, the project is resuming.

Fishing vessels that use the Violet Canal can find an alternate route through the Bayou Bienvenu control structure, officials said.

“This closure will not have an economic impact, but it is an inconvenience,” Gilmore said. “We want to give fisherman and others a heads-up to make alternate plans.”

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Information from: The Times-Picayune, http://www.nola.com