Saturday, May 29, 2021

1959 Port Allen Lock on canal in Port Allen, LA across from Baton Rouge


Tom Waller posted
Port Allen lock wall under construction 1959. Photo by Morris Mabile

Obviously, the Mississippi River is higher than the canal. In fact, this area is like parts of the Netherlands --- it would be under water if not for a levee.
Street View

The 84' high lock has a lift of 45'. Incidentally, there are large fleets of barges on both sides of the Mississippi River downstream of Baton Rouge and the rake of the barge fleets present a very real danger to people travelling down the river by canoe or kayak. One can easily get pushed under the barges by the river's current! [rivergator]

Port of Greater Baton Rouge-Gallery
1965 Construction of the Port Allen Lock

Port of Greater Baton Rouge

Port of Greater Baton Rouge

Port of Greater Baton Rouge-Gallery
2000 First Container Barge through Port Allen Locks

Looking downstream, West

The lock is long and skinny. It doesn't make sense to handle tows wider than two barges because the canal itself is not wide enough for wider tows to pass each other. The Gulf Intercoastal Waterway was finished in 1949. This shortcut for barge traffic between the Mississippi River and the west side of the GIWW was finished in 1961. [USACE Brochure, p2] The brochure indicates the shortcut removes 160 miles from a tow's trip and West Baton Rouge Museum says it shortens the trip by 120 miles.

USACE-New Orleans District

Thank goodness for Google Search because I was unable to find useful information on this lock using the USACE web pages.
USACE Brochure, p1

USACE Brochure, p2

This image shows several tows waiting to lock through.

In 2009 the locks had to be closed for four weeks to replace the expansion joint seals.

The joints had to be replaced because of "leak-induced water-related subsidence."

David Gulden posted two photos with the comment: "The VANPORT as i saw her a couple months ago a lil different then her TPT days."
David Dorrell
Hard working boats in the TPT days. D 379 Cats and loaded to an oversize permit for length, in the ditch.
1188 feet - repowered but never shoved as much since the TPT days.
Same barges, same waterway, what happened?
Wade Murphy
David Dorrell The Vanport also had a stainless steel stern and Kort Nozzles the sister boat the "Beverly Thomas " was open wheel with same Cat power. The crew also stripped and cleaned barges in tow as well. Many of the barges would split load multiple grades. They turned Baton Rouge every 10 days with the "Sara Jane" for Cairo where the two Ohio River boats "Walter Curly" and "Franklin Pierce" ran that leg.


Street View

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