Thursday, June 3, 2021

1963 Old River Lock near the Mississippi River


Jess Raen posted two photos with the comment: "The Jessica Brent heading through Old River Lock this morning."
[It is approaching the Mississippi River or east side. Note that Jessica Brent has a retractable pilothouse.]
Dennis DeBruler: I read that the lock was supposed to close May 13, 2021, because of high water. I wonder when it opened again. [nola, USACE closes the lock at 62.5' to remove electrical equipment and to start sandbagging.]
(At the project flood stage of 3 million cfs [USACE-flood], the elevation here is expected to be 70'. [OldRiverControlBrochure, p5])
Jess Raen: Dennis DeBruler not sure but i can tell you we went through it yesterday [June 2, 2021] and the day before.


The tall structure to the right of the crane in the above photos is a lift bridge. This street view was taken from that bridge.
Street View, Mar 2008
A Flickr photo of this view

The Mississippi doesn't seem to be that much higher than the Atchafalaya River in this photo. To maintain a ratio of flow to the Mississippi and Atchafalaya Rivers, a lift of 4' to 19' is maintained. [OldRiverControlBrochure, p6]
OldRiverControlBrochure, p1

Like the Port Allen Lock further downstream, this lock is long and skinny.
OldRiverControlBrochure, p1

For a nice description of this evolution of the rivers, search for "parallel courses" in landingaday. That description includes how to pronounce the new river created in the 15th Century: "ah chaf fa LIE ya"
USACE via Wikimedia

When they built the lock, they also dammed the Lower Old River.

I have not figured out how barge traffic is split between this Atchafalaya waterway and the Port Allen Lock Waterway. Does the bulk of the traffic on the Gulf Intercoastal Waterway consist of petrochemicals headed to the Baton Rouge part of the Mississippi and the Atchafalaya handles the 15 tows a day that is going further up the river? I scanned both waterways with a satellite map. The only tow I saw on the Atchafalaya waterway was actually on the Red River. I saw about a dozen on the Port Allen Lock Waterway if I include those that can lock through to the Little Tensas Bayou.

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