Before the dawn of the automobile and the first-rate railroad, the Kentucky River was the primary route of access to locations in central Kentucky. At one point, the river was fully navigable from the Ohio River at Carrollton to Beattyville, with fourteen locks and dams providing safe passage for passengers and freight alike.1 In 1986, the Kentucky River Authority was established by the Kentucky General Assembly 2 to take over operation of locks 5 through 14 from the United States Corps of Engineers; they were subsequently closed and sealed with concrete barriers. Only the first four locks from Carrollton to Frankfort remain in operation.
Lock No. 2 is located in Lockport and was constructed from 1836 to 1842 and supports an 11-mile long pool of water 31 miles south of the mouth of the Ohio River. Constructed originally of a timber crib structure, which consisted of an outside frame of timbers filled with dirt and rock with a lock built of stone masonry, it was rebuilt in 1882 by the Army Corps of Engineers. In the early 1890s, a concrete cap is added to the top of the timber crib dam.3
In 1950, the wood lock gates were replaced with steel gates, with repairs to the upper guide wall and guide wall in 1977, Additional repairs and the installation of sheet piling in front of the dam was finished in 1980.3 The lock was closed due to structural and mechanical problems in 2007.3[/stag_one_half] [stag_one_half_last]