AUGUSTA, Ga (WJBF) – This Federal Court ruling puts the Corp of Engineers plan to replace lock and Dam with a rock fish passage back in play. 

“You know it really hurts. I’m disappointed that that 4th Circuit appeals court did not rule in our favor,” said Mayor Garnett Johnson 

The city joined the lawsuit against the Corps plan because of what it does to the downtown pool. 

A simulation river drawdown in 2019 caused tens of thousands of dollars in damage and left behind a mess, something Augusta doesn’t want to see permanently.  

“This is the river that we’re used to seeing. We’ve built on it, we built towards it. Do you really want to have a Riverwalk that’s 100 yards from where the river actually is?” said Mayor Pro-Tem Brandon Garrett. 

But even though the appeals court called the argument to prevent the Corp from removing the dam absurd, the city is vowing to keep up the legal fight, though it will cost.   

“Spending more tax dollars to fight the fight because economically we have to have the ability to control our pool level at the Savannah River,” said Mayor Johnson. 

But the Riverkeeper says it’s time for compromise. 

“I don’t think they should fight it out in court. I would love to sit down and talk to all of them when they want to talk about some legitimate compromise, but we’ll see going to court is never bad for lawyer paychecks,” said Savannah Riverkeeper Tonya Bonitatibus.  

But to keep Lock and Dam going back to court looks to be the city’s only choice.