Plans to close the Bonnet Carré

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Spillway north of New Orleans to close in July

FILE – In a Friday, May 10, 2019 file photo, workers open bays of the Bonnet Carre Spillway, to divert rising water from the Mississippi River to Lake Pontchartrain, upriver from New Orleans, in Norco, La. The Army Corps of Engineers expects to begin closing the Bonnet Carré Spillway north of New Orleans sometime in the second or third week of July. The corps began opening the Bonnet Carré Spillway on May 10 to relieve stress on levees protecting New Orleans. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

NEW ORLEANS (AP) – The Army Corps of Engineers expects to begin closing a Mississippi River spillway north of New Orleans sometime in the second or third week of July.  

The corps began opening the Bonnet Carré Spillway on May 10 to relieve stress on levees protecting New Orleans. It was the first time the spillway’s been opened twice in one year.  

Spokesman Matt Roe said Thursday that the closing will be paced to the Mississippi River’s fall, just as the opening was paced to its rise. He doesn’t know how long it will take.  

A corps tweet Wednesday said the closing will begin when the river falls to 15.5 feet (4.7 meters) at the Carrollton gage.  

Roe says that’s for the safety of the workers who must lower huge timbers into the path of rushing water.

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