Ohio River Locks & Dams

The Ohio River consisted of 53 wicket-style dams and locks that were gradually phased out in favor of larger facilities.






The Ohio River originally consisted of a system of 53 wicket-style dams and locks that were built between 1875 and 1929 from the Mississippi River to the Allegheny River. 1

RiverLocationOpenedRebuiltClosedDemolished
OhioNo. 31 (Kirkville)191719641964
OhioNo. 32 (Vanceburg)192219641964
This is a list of locks and dams along the Ohio River.

Ohio River Lock & Dam No. 31

Lock No. 31, constructed between 1915 to 1917, featured a one-story powerhouse with a 60-foot smokestack designed in the Classical Revival style. 1 It was flanked by two 1½-story bungalows, a seven-bay garage, a blacksmith shop, and a steel water tank. In the 1930s, three additional two-story brick houses were added.

The lock was rendered obsolete when the Captain Meldahl Lock and Dam was completed downstream in December 1964. 1 2 The lock chamber and wicket dam were demolished soon after Meldahl opened.

Ohio River Lock & Dam No. 32

Lock No. 32, constructed from 1919 to 1922, was built with a box cofferdam and was founded upon wood piles driven to refusal. 3 Thirteen pneumatic steel caissons were designed, fabricated and erected by Dravo’s Engineering Works Division of Pittsburgh and towed 372 miles to the dam site.

The lock was rendered obsolete when the Captain Meldahl Lock and Dam was completed downstream in December 1964. 2 3 The lock chamber and wicket dam were demolished soon after Meldahl opened.






Further Reading


Sources

  1. United States. Dept. of the Interior. Ohio River Lock and Dam No. 31. Comp. Robert M. Polsgrove. Washington: National Park Service, May 1986. National Park Service. Web. 30 Jan. 2014. Article.
  2. “Captain Meldahl Locks and Dam.” US Army Corps of Engineers. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Jan. 2014. Article.
  3. O’Bannon, Patrick W. “Caissons.” Working in the Dry: Cofferdams, In-River Construction, and the United States Army Corps of Engineers. Pittsburgh: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Pittsburgh District, 2009. 44-45. US Army Corps of Engineers. Web. 30 Jan. 2014. Book.

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