A new lock has been dedicated at the McAlpine Locks and Dam on the Ohio River in Louisville. The addition will facilitate commerce on the river by doubling the amount of barges that can pass through McAlpine.
Construction on the new lock cost 430 million dollars and took about ten years. The money for the lock came from federal appropriations, but Army Corps of Engineers Chief Engineer Lieutenant General Robert Van Antwerp says operations and maintenance on this and other locks might be paid for with federal stimulus funds.
“We have 257 locks across the country. A lot of those are in need of repair and we do the repairs we can with the money we have,” he says. “The stimulus package did provide us with about 2 billion dollars of O and M funds, a lot of which will go into these projects.”
More than one fourth of the locks on the Ohio River are past their design life and in need or repair. Van Antwerp says the next area waterways project will likely be on the Olmstead Locks and Dam between Kentucky and Illinois.