McAlpine Intake Model Study for Innovative Lock Design

by John E. Hite, Jr.,
Larry Dalton,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

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


The McAlpine Locks and Dam Project is located on the Ohio River near Louisville Kentucky. Construction of an additional 33.53-m-wide (110 ft) by 365.76-m-long (1200 ft) navigation lock is planned for the project. Design of the lock addition will be performed by the Louisville District of the US Army Corps of Engineers. Innovative design techniques are being considered to reduce the construction costs. A significant cost savings can be realized if the lock intakes and outlets can be placed through the miter sills. This placement allows the lock filling and emptying culverts to be located on the floor of the lock chamber and eliminates the need for the large concrete gravity walls. The lock walls can then be constructed with designs that utilize less costly thin wall structural alternatives. Placement of the intakes through the miter sill can result in undesirable flow conditions in the lock approach such as concentrated flows and strong vortices. A 1:25-scale model of the McAlpine Lock intake was constructed and tested at the Waterways Experiment Station to aid in the lock approach design and evaluate the hydraulic performance of the intake. This paper provides details of the model investigation including the modifications that were developed to improve the flow conditions in the lock approach.

Subject Headings: Water intakes | Locks (waterway) | Locks (dam) | Hydraulic design | Walls | Rivers and streams | Reefs and sills | Ohio River | United States | Kentucky

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