Navigation Lock Improvements

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by Mary K. Spence, (A.M.ASCE),

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: North American Water and Environment Congress & Destructive Water

Abstract: All commercial barge traffic on the Upper Mississippi River and Illinois Waterway must pass through a system of locks designed and built in the 1930s and 40s. Many of the locks on these two waterways have reached the end of their 50 year design life, and yet the volume of traffic they are required to handle continues to grow. Building new replacement locks is an expensive and time-consuming process. As an interim solution to the congestion problem, Sverdrup was tasked by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to study potential small scale improvements that could increase lock efficiency at the existing locks. This paper identifies those measures which were determined to have the greatest benefit for further study based on their overall effectiveness and general applicability throughout the system.

Subject Headings: Locks (waterway) | Navigation (waterway) | Highway and road design | Water transportation | Barges | Lifeline systems | Hydraulic design | Rivers and streams | Mississippi River | North America | Illinois | United States

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