In the 1970s when I moved to the Chicagoland area, I was able to drive West on Division Street to an access road on the east dike and visit the lock. When I tried repeating that trip after I retired in 2014, I discovered that Division Street has been closed to the public. :-(
The lift of the 110' x 600' lock has an average of 39' and a maximum of 42'. The annual tonnage of around 10 million is comparable to the John Day Lock on the Columbia River. It was rehabilitated in 2017 at a cost of $150,280,294. [USACE] Before these repairs were made in 2017 "water was escaping through the deteriorated concrete walls" and "headed toward uncontrolled seepage." The walls had been repaired in 1989, but they needed it again. [ChicagoTribune This article has confused the construction of the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal with the construction of this lock. This lock wasn't built until the 1930s.]
USACE, Chicago District posted The Lockport Lock & Dam after it was acquired by the Chicago District in 1931!
This lock is near the end of the Illinois Waterway. There is more activity downstream. "In 2005, 51.6 million tons of
commercial cargo worth $9.5 billion was transported on the Illinois Waterway." [HAER-data. p14] When constructed, this lock had the highest lift in the world. [DNR]
MWRD posted on Aug 14, 2022 A view of early excavation for a new lock in Lockport, Illinois, on October 31, 1923. The new lock was built between 1923 and 1933 next to the original lock and the adjacent powerhouse and dam, both of which are still in operation. The new, much larger, lock was built by the state of Illinois and the federal government and opened in 1933, which provides the means for movement of larger vessels between the Des Plaines River and the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal.
On the right of the photo below, we see the west wall of the lock. In the background, from right to left, is the tall, narrow gates for the old 22' x 120' x 34' lock, the current control structure and the powerhouse.
If you look a the first photo, you can see towers and a bridge connecting them at the upper gate. That is because it used to lift the gate up out of the water instead of lowering it down below the water. Similar submersible lift gates are used for the upper gate of the John Day and Keokuk locks.
Matt Weide posted S/B lockport Lock Dennis DeBruler: I'd like to also see a view from a N/B tow while the water is low to see what that lift gate looks like. [The last I looked, the comments was still pending.]
MWRD posted three photos with the comment: "Construction of the lock at Lockport, Illinois, on September 22, 1925. The lock was built by the state of Illinois and the federal government and opened in 1933, replacing the older, smaller lock that had been built by the MWRD in 1907. It provided the means for movement of larger vessels between the Des Plaines River and the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal."
Randy Smith I'm about to go into lockport lock with 2 barges in about 1 hour. I always love going in and watching the water inside come over the gates.. I'll add a few pics soon.
MWRD A view to the south showing construction of the lock at Lockport, Illinois, on June 16, 1924. The lock was built by the state of Illinois and the federal government and opened in 1933, replacing the older, smaller lock that had been built by the MWRD in 1907, and it provided the means for movement of larger vessels between the Des Plaines River and the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal.
(new window) time-lapse It looks like it passed four northbound towboats, one with a large, for this area, tow. One of the towboats is a long-distance boat because its pilothouse is not retractable.
6:49 is where the captain is going south in this part of the canal where the water is at the treetop level before the tow enters the lock.
Most of his videos are on the Mississippi River or the lower Ohio River. This is the first one of his that I have seen in the Chicago area.
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