Wicket Gates Installed, Ohio River Navigation Expected to Resume Thursday Night

Sep 14, 2017

A closeup view of the wickets of Dam 52 near Paducah
Credit US Army Corps of Engineers

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is not reducing discharges at Barkley Dam on the Cumberland River today (Thursday) as previously announced. The Tennessee Valley Authority says discharges at Kentucky Dam will also not be reduced today.

The Louisville District said the wicket gates at Dam 52 on the Ohio River in Brookport, Illinois, were installed on Wednesday and navigation is expected to resume this evening. A breakdown at the aging lock and dam halted river traffic on the Ohio, the second time in less than a year. 

In a release, Nashville District Hydrology and Hydraulics Branch chief Ben Rohrbach said, "At this time, Louisville District no longer needs special operations for reduced discharges from Kentucky or Barkley Dams."

Dam 52 is now rising six inches per hour and is expected to return to normal elevations by the weekend. 

The Ohio River carries 90 million tons of cargo each year.  The Olmsted Locks and Dam under construction is expected to resolve some of the infrastructure issues on the river.