Cape Coral needs to address the Chiquita Lock
To the editor:
As it appears the Chiquita Boat Lock will not be removed any time soon, the city of Cape Coral should establish a citizens ad hoc committee to address the following issues:
1. The lack of information on how to safely navigate the lock;
2. Immediate necessary repairs;
3. Upcoming structural repairs; and
4. Funding for all of the above.
1. As a relatively new resident and boater of Cape Coral it was necessary to learn the “ins and outs” of Chiquita Lock navigation through trial, error and boat damage. The city does not provide such information on their website or provide a brochure explaining how the Lock operates, how to position your boat, use of the ropes, how to safely handle four boats in the lock at the same time or how to handle the current created by the opening and closing of the lock.
Boat renters and beginning boaters experience fear, boat damage and impact on other boaters by the lack of information, not to mention slowing the smooth operation of the lock.
2. Boat protection consists of minimal and deteriorating rub rails, fenders and ropes, all of which need immediate improvement and upgrade. Additionally, all 90 degree concrete corners need a protective covering.
3. Everyone who uses the lock can see that numerous “I” beams and joints are rusted through and will soon break apart. The catastrophic failure of any of these components may create a lengthy closure of the lock for repairs.
4. Given that tax revenues will be adversely impacted by the coronavirus, it is imperative that a capital account and the funding thereof by addressed by the City.
The ad hoc committee should consist of users of the lock and city staff, with access and support by city engineers and finance officers.