If the following safety situation on this very unusual portion of the river is decided not to be of any safety concern, I seriously doubt any other permit could ever be denied any where along the river due to safety issues. It should make for a strong legal president to future applicants.


This page has issues of safety for a barge loading facility on the final outside river bank of an "S" curve. As barges approach any curve they need to approach with the right alignment to make the turn. In order to maneuver they need forward speed through the water. With their forward speed added to the river current it will show up as the total barge speed past mored barges that will protrude some 135 feet into the river.

The following are some concerns presented to the Army Corps of Engineers for their consideration:

Although I was not made privy to the actual details of the problem with regard to the safety issue it seems that only a portion of the problem was addressed in this solution and not the total concern with the barge projection into the river. I know this sounds a little absurd but are we working on the premise that if the river was wider at this point than the proposed 200 foot indentation of this project into the Kentucky shore line there would be no safety issue?  Do we really want to work this close to safety margins with the variability of river current, wind, drift, passing barges and many other things I am not equipped to debate? It seems that no complete solution has been addressed.

The other question is the matter of this proposed dredging operation. Have the applicants done any core drilling in the proposed excavation area to determine if a clamshell dredge can actual complete the project. I am not a geological engineer but it seems reasonable to assume there is solid rock that will need to be blasted out. There will, have to be extensive measures taken so this blasting will not kill a large number of fish, if this can even be done under water.

Will there be sediment containment procedures put into place prior to the dredging or any other excavation or deforestation? If the dredging procedure should prove unworkable and the river front is destroyed it would make any argument of loss of natural beauty a moot point.

From Google Maps I determined the river width is about 1300, of what I would guess is maybe close to the length of a complete barge. No safety for turning back or even stopping to avoid barges maneuvering in docking procedures for the quarry barges.

This proposed project is on the outside of the second turn of an “S” curve in the river with the narrowest portion at the proposed site. It would seem with barges repositioning to maneuver in swift current a collision with any moored barges is a strong possibility. From what I can glean from Google Earth all barge loading facilities are located of fairly straight wide portions of river frontage. 

I would love to argue other issues of safety but I was not privy to the reason the first challenge to navigation was brought to light.  I assume it must have been protrusion of the leading bow edge of the docked barges into the river.  This proposed alteration will leave only the issue of a broad side collisions cutting lose moored barges.  I have personally witness a barge lodged with it downstream bow wedged in the Kentucky shore  and its stern almost touching the Indiana shore trying desperately in reverse to fight the current and not end up broad side to the stream.  This new proposed notch in the river bluff, when not occupied with barges could be a set trap.

I think a good comparison that everybody is aware of is the maneuvering area necessary for parallel parking an automobile. I believe this is comparable to putting a barge in a slot cut in the river bluff.  The only difference is that the road is not moving with respect to your intended parking slot. It seems to me that this maneuvering requirement would be a greater safety concern to river traffic than a protruded barge bow on the upstream end. 

Has the disposal of dredged material imposeing a water quality issue when placed in the water shed empting into the river in the center of this project been addressed?  I notice that all highway construction requires water containment provisions to eliminate water entering nearby streams and water ways. This seems to be a point to consider with the large water shed empting into the Ohio River directly through the center of this proposed project.

Please feel free to email any safety concerns of you own to me at: Robert M. George

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