NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) — The New Bedford Hurricane Protection Barrier has been taken offline so routine inspections and maintenance can be performed.

According to the New England district of the U.S. Corps of Engineers (USACE), the barrier will be offline for up to three months, which will give operators access to areas behind the sector gates that are normally hidden below the water level.

USACE said it’s required to conduct a dewatering of the barrier every eight to ten years, and it also plans to replace the wheels along the sector gates and paint barrier structures to prevent corrosion.

Should a significant coastal storm appear in the forecast in the coming weeks, USACE said it has procedures in place to fully bring the barrier back online.

The barrier has been in operation since 1966, according to USACE, and it protects about 1,400 acres of New Bedford, Fairhaven and Acushnet from tidal flooding associated with hurricanes and other coastal storms.