2. GENERAL VIEW OF DAM, DOWNSTREAM SIDE, LOOKING FROM GUIDEWALL - Mississippi River 9-Foot Channel Project, Lock & Dam No. 11, Upper Mississippi River, Dubuque, Dubuque County, IA Photos from Survey HAER IA-23
33. GENERAL VIEW OF DAM CONSTRUCTION. January 1937
USACE, Rock Island District posted two photos with the comment: "Today's 'Then & Now' takes us to our first lock and dam site of the series as we head to Lock & Dam 11 in Dubuque, Iowa! The first photo dates back to 1937 and shows the facility while looking upriver to the northeast. As you can see in the second photo, this amazing infrastructure has withstood the test of time with just a few small modifications to the lockhouse area."
Jill Crosby: My Mom met my Dad down there on the lockwall in 1936; she was with her aunt who was meeting her husband, mate on the John W Weeks. My dad was a freshly-minted deckhand who swore he never saw anybody prettier than my mom before or after. Married 60 years until cancer took her in 1998.
Chris Tigges: Speaking with the lock aster while locking through one time, I thought I remembered him saying something about lock and dam 11 being the only lock not sitting on bedrock and built on wood pillings? Any truth to this?
USACE, Rock Island District posted two photos with the comment: "Today we go back to 1936 during the construction of the dam at Lock & Dam 11 in Dubuque, Iowa. The original photo was taken October 27, 1936 with the present day photo taken 87 years later. The original photo shows another miraculous feat of engineering for the 1930s."
USACE posted two photos with the comment: "After a short break for the holidays, we are back with another installment of 'Then & Now"! Today we head back to Lock and Dam 11 in Dubuque, Iowa, to see the site in 1935 and today. The original photo shows the site after the construction of the lock, but before construction of the dam began."
This Facebook post was the motivation for these notes. The maximum lift is 11' with an average lift of 9.4'. This and Dam #10 were the first dams in the Rock Island District to use submersible, elliptical Tainter gates. #10 and #11 were also the first to use submersible roller gates. [USACE-information]
|Curt Smith posted
2010 or 2011 photo of David Griggs locking up at Lock Dam 11 in my hometown of Dubuque. Shes the Red Harris now. I havent seen her since shes been renamed. Think this boat was Kathy N once got some film camera photos of her in Apex colors.
|Taylor Sulva, Aug 2018
The above photo catches the river at what is probably its normal level. Note that the gates are almost closed and that there is a waterline in the lock showing the lower pool is several feet below the upper pool. All the following photos show the river running high. I assume that is because that is when people make an effort to go see the dam. That is, these photos are the exception rather than the rule. Also
note the visitor center. John Weeks indicates that the road to the dam used to be closed in 2007. Not only did they finally build a visitor center, this lock offers public tours at 2:00pm on Sundays in the Summer. [USACE-tours]
|Dave Bowmaster, Oct 2017
A photo that catches a tow doubling through the lock. I don't know why he is running with 12 instead of 15 barges. That causes him to have to back out further and leave a gap in the lock that would hold 3 more barges.
|Jeremy Drexler, Sep 2020
Another example of doubling of the lock. In this case, the back part has just begun to pull back out. This is a full 15-barge tow.
|Heather Verhagen, Aug 2018
The gates are out of the water because of a high river level of 15'.
|Rich Frachey, Dec 2016
The river was at the Action Flood Stage in Rich's photo.
One of some photos on Google Maps showing two cranes at the lock. The corps' Quad Cities ringer is lifting a gate. I wonder why they are doing such major work in the middle of the navigation season.
|John Williams, May 2017
They are definitely doing gate replacement work because we can see the new and/or old ones on barges next to the cranes. It appears the USACE has figured out how to replace gates "in the wet" because they did the replacement with periodic closures. [KCRG] Or can they quickly install bulkheads, pump the gap dry, replace the gates and remove the bulkheads? They did major work during the Winters of 2008 and 2009 [USACE-rehab], but I can't find any info on the gate replacement in 2017 and 2018.
|Jeff Jenson, May 2018
From this angle we can see the ring of the ringer crane.
|gerri rector, Jun 2017
Another reminder that 2019 was a very wet year.
|Chris Steiner, May 2019
The water appears to be almost at the top of the lock walls. Looking at the depth gauge in Rich's photo and the hydrology chart, this flood may have literally been off the charts.
Actually, red is just Moderate. There is a purple Major Flood Stage. I don't see Dec 2016 in the data. I do see Sep 2016 at 17.78'.
Seconds later, I found a photo for Sep 2016. Counting the scrap bars, the river is about the same level as Rich's photo. You can tell by the angle of the gate arms that they were higher in Rich's photo. I don't know why they are just "almost open" here. I don't think they try to trap debris for removal.
|Rodney Peterman, Sep 2016
Another example of the river at 15' and the gates are "almost open."
|Brian Burns, Apr 2017
The gates were open May 2017. It reached 19' that month.
|Teresa Boxleiter, May 2017
More barges alliding with a dam. I could not find any additional information about this incident.
|Amber Hanselmann, May 2018
An interesting demonstration of the roller gates. /Do they have it up in case the barge on the upstream side breaks?
|Dale Gerstenkorn, May 2018
It looks like the river is running high enough that they decided they could get all of the gates out of the way of the barges.
|Kari Vize, May 2018
|Kari Vize, May 2018
Here is another photo with 6 scrape bars showing in the lock. This time the gates are open. And this photo catches the front part of a tow leaving the lock without its towboat. Doubling a lock in the downstream direction is generally rather easy because they can float the front half out. When going upstream, a winch has to be used to pull the front half out of the lock.
|Steve S, Jul 2018
This is a photo of a winch that hauls the front part of tows out of the lock.
18. DETAIL VIEW OF UPSTREAM HAULAGE UNIT, LANDWALL, MAIN LOCK - Mississippi River 9-Foot Channel Project, Lock & Dam No. 11, Upper Mississippi River, Dubuque, Dubuque County, IA Photos from Survey HAER IA-23
It looks like the yellow crane's barge is spudded in the river. I wonder what it is doing out there.
|Dave Bowmaster, Oct 2017
Jan 2017 is winter time. Evidently the gates are submerged.
|adam griffin, Jan 2017
The river goes down as well as up. The river dropped 4' in one day and left some boats in marinas setting on dry land.
|(Justin Gehrts, KCRG-TV9)
I found some interesting graphics while looking for more information about the gate replacement and barge allision.
|Improving Fish Passage Through Navigation Dams on the Upper Mississippi River System, October 2004, p52
Three of the five photos posted by Brandon Phillips.
|Nelson Klavitter posted
George King, Northbound at Lock 11
Bev Goulet posted three photos with the comment: "Lock and Dam 11 in Dubuque, Iowa. You can see Wisconsin, Illinois, and Iowa from this lookout in Eagle Point Park."
Rich Stephens: I still remember riding across the Eagle Point Toll bridge as a kid in the 60’s-70’s. The see -through bridge deck and boiling water below the dam were pretty scary to this farm boy!!!
|Adrienne Szulczynski commented on Bev's post
Was there Monday morning!
Two videos of barges alliding with the dam, and the gates are all the way up. One of the barges goes through a roller gate. (shared)
Jennie Tempel Lyons: I remember this during high water, current at Dubuque. Not that long ago either.
David Webster: I actually passed this tow at lock 10 & was impressed with the rigging that was on the tow... it was built to stay together.
|David Webster posted
[Some comments indicate L&D #11. This was during the 2023 Flood.]