Published: Apr 10, 2012 5:47 PM EDT
Updated: Apr 10, 2012 10:23 PM EDT

CAPE CORAL, Fla.- A Cape Coral engineer is testing the Chiquita boat lock. The city wants to know if it can keep the lock completely open during certain hours of the day. It's all in an effort to ease congestion.

Currently, it doesn't take boats long to get through, but on very busy afternoons or weekends, boats will line up on both sides of the lock, sometimes for more than an hour, waiting to get through. That makes for a dangerous situation for boaters and for manatees. That's why the city has received a permit from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to open the lock.

City engineer Oliver Clarke has been testing the currents since last Friday to see if it will be safe, during certain tide conditions, to keep the gates open for a certain amount of hours.

If they were to open the lock, boat traffic would be directed by existing traffic lights.

Testing will continue for the remainder of the week.