Monday, July 27, 2020

Starved Rock Lock and Dam

(John A. Weeks III, Satellite)

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The Starved Rock Lock and Dam has a Visitor's Center that is open 9-5. But you need some guts to continue down the road past a fence to find it. I had parked in a parking lot upstream of the scary looking fence. But when I saw people getting on a Starved Rock Trolley, I decided to go back down the road to check it out. You can tell that the three state parks near LaSalle creates a tourist industry for LaSalle. And this is probably why this lock and dam is taxpayer friendly. None of the other lock and dams on the Illinois river that I have visited allow pictures to be taken. And some don't even allow visitors!

On the right is the plaque for the propeller laying on the ground in the above photo. I was surprised that the towboat was steam/electric rather than diesel.

The Visitor's Center had a second story balcony so that you did not have to try to take pictures through a chain link fence. And you can see over the lock to see the dam. The picture below was taken on Aug. 8, 2015. Note that only one gate was open. The attendant in the visitor center did not know how far the gate was open. Judging from the angle of the gate, it is not open very far. Note that these Tainter gates are counterbalanced. The only time I have seen that before was the control gates for the Marseilles North Mill Headrace.

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I stayed overnight in Peru so that I could take more pictures in the Peru-LaSalle-Ottawa area. When I again stopped by the dam the next day, it had three gates open.
Photo by Ted Gregory, June 2018

USACE posted five photos with the comment:

Have you ever wondered how the water is kept out of the lock chamber in a dewatered lock? It takes a lot more than just closing the gates on the upper and lower ends! Bulkheads are put in place when the chamber is full. They are stacked on top of each other and secured by divers. Once that is complete at both ends of the chamber, then the chamber can be pumped down. The photos below depict that process at Starved Rock Lock and Dam during the current Illinois Waterway Consolidated Lock Closures. #ILWW2020Closures
Jay Davis Not only do they install bulkheads above and below the lock chamber, you also set bulkheads above and below each filling and emptying valve for the lock chamber. 
Jon James Bet yal see some big fish in those chambers when dewatered, how do yal get the fish out? Lol
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Rock Island District The crew gathers as many as they can and relocates them back to the river just downstream of the bulkheads.
Jon James U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Rock Island District i gotcha, I've been on the boats for 11 yrs and heard at times ya advertise when yal are closing a lock and sometimes have had locals come down to gather what they want to take home??
Cary Hahn Jon James over 2000 asian carp.

Ben Stalvey shared
Checkout this neat unique Manitowoc 36ft platform ringer.
Bill Strealy Do the bulkheads support the gates?



Dennis DeBruler commented on Bill Strealy's comment ("Do the bulkheads support the gates?") on Ben's post
No. They create a temporary gate so that the movable gate can be worked on in a (relatively) dry lock. Here is a photo from the Peoria Lock work that illustrates this.
Bill Strealy Dennis DeBruler OK Dennis, thanks for the reply and that sure makes a lot of sense. I have never been around a lock.
Dennis DeBruler In fact, I just discovered that the work for Starved Rock is to replace both the upper and lower miter gates. That is probably why they have a ringer crane at this lock. I presume that the lower gates are rather heavy.
Paul Carpenter posted
Visitors at the Starved Rock Lock and Dam Visitors Center between Ottawa and Utica watched as the Mary Lucy Lane passed through the lock near Rock Island District’s Army Corps of Engineers crane Hercules. A smaller crane is nearby. Work on the lock is scheduled for summer. Pleasant weather Sunday, Feb. 23, brought out many visitors here and at other outdoor sites.
[We cans see some replacement gates to the right of Hercules.]

A photo dump of the photos I took on Aug 8, 2015 when I caught a tow going downbound through the lock. I used the new version of Google blog writing software since they had fixed their performance problem for photo insertion. This insertion was 63 photos.

My intention when I took these photos of the tow entering the lock was to add the timestamp for each. But Windows Explorer doesn't include the seconds. And since I don't know of a quick way to get the timestamp with a resolution of seconds, I'm skipping the timestamps.

This is when I learned I have a hard time taking a vertical photo when leaning over a handrail.

The next day, on my way back home, I stopped by the lock during business hours and got photos inside the visitor center. This photo insertion test was with 13 photos. All three of these tests passed. The bug of inserting photos at the end of the post instead of at the cursor did not appear.

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