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4.2
5 votes

McAlpine Locks and Dam

805 North 27th Street, Louisville, Kentucky 40212 USA

Free
Free to Visit
  • Independent
  • Not Wheelchair
    Accessible
  • No Public
    Restrooms

The McAlpine Locks and Dam are a set of locks and a hydroelectric dam at the Falls of the Ohio River at Louisville, Kentucky. They are located at mile point 606.8 and control a long navigation pool. The locks and their associated canal were the first major engineering project on the Ohio River, completed in 1830 as the Louisville and Portland Canal, designed to allow shipping traffic to navigate through the Falls of the Ohio. From 1925 to 1927, the dam for generating hydroelectric power was added, and the locks were expanded, first by a private company and then by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The hydroelectric plant at the time was the seventh largest hydroelectric plant in the United States.The system was renamed the McAlpine Locks and Dam in 1960 in honor of William McAlpine, who was the only civilian to have ever served as district engineer for the Corps of Louisville. At present, the normal pool elevation is 420ft above sea level and the drainage area above the dam is 91,170 square miles (236,000 km²). The average daily flow at McAlpine is 118,000 cubic feet per second (3,340 m³/s). The lock chambers are located at the dam on the Kentucky side of the Ohio River and are capable of a normal lift of between the McAlpine pool upstream and the Cannelton pool downstream. The hydroelectric plant consists of eight turbine units with a net power generation capacity of 80,000 kilowatts. The hydroelectric plant is currently undergoing an 8-year long rehabilitation project. This will extend the life of the 1920s era turbine-generator units and increase power output to 100 megawatts.

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McAlpine Locks and Dam

805 North 27th Street
Louisville, Kentucky
40212 USA

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  • Independent
  • Not Wheelchair Accessible
  • No Public Restrooms
  • Street Parking

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