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Melvin Price Locks and Dam

Melvin Price Locks & Dam


Melvin Price Locks and Dam replaced Lock and Dam 26, which was demolished in 1990. Almost from the beginning, Lock and Dam 26 was plagued with structural deficiencies. Scour holes developed below the dam. This was of particular concern because some of the holes were deeper than the wooden pilings supporting the dam. The scouring of the riverbed led to the disintegration of the concrete and a loss of foundation material, which eventually resulted in excessive deflections and settlement of the lock walls and dam piers.

The construction of the Melvin Price Locks and Dam constituted the first replacement of an original installation of the 9-Foot Channel Project. The new structure is located two miles downstream of the razed Lock and Dam 26, but the significance of the new installation is not limited to its colossal size. Throughout its design and construction, the Corps engaged in an extensive program of computer-assisted design, testing and evaluation to create a structure that represents the state of the art in river navigation control works.

Location: Alton, Ill.
Mississippi River Mile: 200.5
1st Day of Operation: October 10, 1989
Average lift: 15 feet
Pool size: 112,634 acre feet
Pool length: 40.6 miles
Lock characteristics (Main Chamber):
1,200 feet long, 110 feet wide
Lock characteristics (Auxiliary Chamber):
600 feet long, 110 feet wide
Dam Characteristics:
1,160 feet long, 9 Tainter Gates
Phone number: (618) 462-1713
Marine Radio: 14
Year
Tonnage
Lockages
2009
56,403,848
6,677
2008
56,295,661
6,259
2007
65,248,495
7,515
2006
70,759,977
7,266
2005
66,536,490
7,456
2004
67,672,535
7,401
2003
72,442,623
8,278
2002
79,037,946
8,514
2001
75,870,386
9,483
2000
77,120,885
8,542
1999
77,580,836
8,740
1998
73,721,633
7,677
1997
70,871,839
8,140
1996
73,873,169
9,085
1995
78,420,608
10,488
1994
71,179,460
8,319
1993
62,343,108
7,101
1992
74,673,715
9,023
1991
74,515,995
9,057
1990
80,447,308
9,577
1989*
68,430,532
14,847