Furloughed Corps of Engineers Workers Are Back on the Job

October  17, 2013

Dozens of people returned to work on Arsenal Island this morning after Congress passed a bill to reopen the government. Since most Department of Defense employees went back to work only a week after the shutdown, the Corps of Engineers was the main agency affected.

Spokesman for the Rock Island District, Ron Fournier, says 170 to 200 workers were re-called.  "We have a notification system in place here for various events. So last night and this morning, they received a notice or their supervisor called them to tell them to return to work."

Besides those employees losing two weeks pay, he says the main loss for the public was 16 days at the Corps of Engineers' campgrounds. "Some of the campgrounds would have closed for the winter during the shutdown. There are 19 already closed for the winter. Seven campgrounds will still be open for a short time before closing for the winter season."

Corps of Engineers employees who work in regulatory offices only lost a day-and-a-half of work this week because extra funds from last year had run out.

It's not clear whether furloughed federal workers will receive backpay.

All the corps' parks, campgrounds, boat ramps, and other facilities have re-opened, including the Visitor Center at Lock and Dam 15 on Arsena Island.