Replacement-Lock and Dam No. 26: History, Objectives, and Scope

by Edwin R. Decker, Colonel, District Engr.; U.S. Army Engrs. District, St. Louis, MO,

Serial Information: Journal of the Waterways, Harbors and Coastal Engineering Division, 1970, Vol. 96, Issue 1, Pg. 1-7

Document Type: Journal Paper


The existing facility known as Lock and Dam No. 26 near Alton, Illinois was placed in operation on 1 May 1938. This project is one in a system of 34 locks and 28 dams authorized by Congress to improve the upper Mississippi River for navigation. Although the Corps has been on the river since its founding on 16 March 1802, its role has evolved from a simple snag-removal service to the maintenance and improvement of all aspects of inland waterway navigation. Cognizance of this total commitment was only beginning in 1938 when commerce through Lock 26 approximated 1,400,000 tons; by 1968 this tonnage had climbed to over 41,000,000 tons, the lock's estimated practical capacity. However, the interdependence of all navigation facilities on the inland waterway was recognized in the planning and formulation of the proposed twin 1200-foot locks to be constructed as a replacement for the current structure.

Subject Headings: Locks (dam) | Navigation (waterway) | Dams | History | Locks (waterway) | Inland waterways | Navigation dams | Existing buildings | Illinois | United States | Mississippi River

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