A long fight over the Chiquita lock could be coming to an end. The controversial lock allows access to the gulf from all the canals on the Southwest side of the city, and the decision on whether it stays or goes finally will go before a judge on Thursday.
The controversy is over the decision to remove the lock to eliminate waiting times to come in and out of the canals, or to keep the lock, which helps keep unwanted bacteria from creeping into the canals.
The Department of Environmental Protection approved the removal of the lock but that sparked controversy among residents who use the lock.
“Mixed opinions on it. You know boat traffic is definitely an issue but during the red tide, I did hear and see that there was no red tide back near the lock,” said Mike Hannon.
Hannon filed a lawsuit against the city after the decision, over fears that the blue-green algae could creep into Cape Harbour.
“We really don’t understand why we’re going through this hearing when the city’s own expert admits that nitrogen is going to pour into the Caloosahatchee,” said Hannon.
The other half of the argument is that it takes a long time for boaters to get through the lock when coming in and out of the canals.
“It takes an hour and a half..you should see the boats, they are lined up around the outside,” said one resident who frequently uses the canal.
But now the decision comes down to the judge. The time of the hearing is unknown, but once it ends the judge will submit their recommendation for the Department of Environmental Protection for a final decision.
WINK News will have that update as we are informed.