McAlpine Locks and Dam - Louisville, KY
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member BluegrassCache
N 38° 16.547 W 085° 47.294
16S E 605991 N 4237109
Quick Description: McAlpine Locks and Dam is located in downtown Louisville, Kentucky. The dam is at mile 604.4 of the Ohio River and the locks are in the Louisville and Portland Canal on the Kentucky side of the river.
Location: Kentucky, United States
Date Posted: 12/17/2007 2:02:51 PM
Waymark Code: WM2T57
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member cache_test_dummies
Views: 180

Long Description:
The following information comes from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Huntington District webpage (visit link)

The 56’ x 600’ auxiliary lock was completed in 1921 and the 110’ x 1200’ main chamber was opened in 1961. There is also an inactive 56’ x 360’ lock chamber. In 1960, the project was renamed from Lock and Dam 41 in honor of a former Louisville District Engineer.

Construction began at McAlpine in 1996 on a new 110’ x 1200’ lock, which will replace the active 110’ x 600’ auxiliary and an inactive auxiliary lock. Innovations associated with this project include roller compacted concrete walls, wrap around filling and emptying system with in-chamber culverts, a shortened guide wall and reduced cofferdam length. Construction began in 1996 and is scheduled for completion in 2008.

During construction, the McAlpine project is reduced to a single chamber project because the new 1200’ lock is being constructed in the foot-print of the auxiliary 600’ chamber.

According to the Corps of Engineers Waterborne Commerce Statistics for 2005, almost 57 million tons of commodities were shipped through McAlpine Locks. These shipments had a combined value of $11.7 billion. The leading commodity shipped through McAlpine Locks was coal, which made up 36% of the total tonnage.

The state that shipped the most tonnage through McAlpine Locks was Louisiana, with just over 17.1 million tons worth $3.6 billion. Iron, steel, ores and chemicals made up over 13.7 million tons of this amount. Kentucky, was next, shipping 11.3 million tons of mostly coal.

Kentucky received the most tonnage (13.8 million tons) moving through McAlpine Locks. Ohio was next, moving 12.5 million tons. See map for a graphical representation of state tonnage movements through McAlpine Locks.

Louisiana’s 3rd Congressional District was the leading shipper of commodities through McAlpine Locks. This district shipped 14.3 million tons of ores, iron, steel and chemicals, with a combined value of nearly $2.5 billion. Kentucky District 4 was next, with 5.5 million tons. See map for the top 10 Congressional Districts shipping tonnage through McAlpine Locks.

The leading Congressional District in receipts of McAlpine Locks commodities was also Kentucky District 4, which received over 9.2 million tons. This tonnage was mostly Iron/steel and coal, and had a combined value of $1.4 billion. Indiana District 9 received 6.3 million tons of goods with a value of $540 million. See map for the top ten Congressional Districts receiving McAlpine Locks tonnage.

The following information comes from Wikipedia.com (visit link)

The McAlpine Locks and Dam refers to the series of locks and the hydroelectric dam in Louisville, Kentucky at the Falls of the Ohio. They are located at mile point 606.8 and control a 72.9 mile (117 km) long navigation pool. This was the first major engineering project on the Ohio River, and the first official name of the system of canal locks was the Louisville and Portland Canal, which was completed in 1830 to allow shipping traffic to navigate through the Falls of the Ohio. From 1925 to 1927, a dam for generating hydroelectric power was added, and the system of canals was expanded, first by a private company and then by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The hydroelectric plant at the time was the seventh largest hydroelectric plant in the United States.

The system was renamed the McAlpine Locks and Dam in 1960 in honor of William McAlpine, who was the only civilian to have ever served as district engineer for the Corps of Louisville. At present, the normal pool elevation is 420 feet (130 m) above sea level and the drainage area above the dam is 91,170 square miles (236,000 km²). The average daily flow at McAlpine is 118,000 cubic feet per second (3,340 m³/s). The lock chambers are located at the dam on the Kentucky side of the Ohio River and are capable of a normal lift of 37 feet (11 m) between the McAlpine pool upstream and the Cannelton pool downstream. The hydroelectric plant consists of eight turbine units with a net power generation capacity of 80,000 kilowatts. The hydroelectric plant is currently undergoing an 8-year long rehabilitation project. This will extend the life of the 1920s era turbine-generator units and increase power output to 100 megawatts.


McAlpine Locks and Dam, Louisville, KentuckyIn October 2003, McAlpine was designated a Historic Civil Engineering Landmark by the American Society of Civil Engineers.

The McAlpine locks are currently undergoing a 10-year, $278 million expansion project scheduled to be completed in 2008.

The hydroelectric plant is owned and operated by LG&E, a subsidiary of E.ON U.S., while the locks are operated by the Army Corps of Engineers.


Waterway Name: Ohio River and Portland Canal

Connected Points:
Located at the Falls of the Ohio River on the Portland Canal. The locks and dam were built to allow river traffic to navigate the Falls of the Ohio.


Type: Lock

Date Opened: 01/01/1830

Elevation Difference (meters): 11.00

Site Status: Operational

Web Site: [Web Link]

Date Closed (if applicable): Not listed

Visit Instructions:
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