Thursday, June 10, 2010

....barges go, but slow

Living on the Ohio river I sometimes forget what a neat thing the river is. This week Mary and I just followed the small two lane highway that follows the river. There are a lot of scenic vistas and overlooks along the river. At Cannelton, IN there is a set of locks and a dam. This point is about 670 miles below Pittsburgh, PA where the river starts.The dams along the Ohio are of the wicket and gate style. They are used to regulate the flow and level of the river to minimise flooding and to keep it navigable in the dry seasons.
These are the gates and they are raised and lowered to regulate the level. All the way up and they don't stop any water. The level is the same above and below the dam. They don't even seal. There is so much flow in the river they just slow it down and the river upstream rises.

These enclosures house the BIG hoists that raise and lower the gates.
You can also see a vulture cruising for fish below the dam.

Fortunately the was a barge locking through while we were there. He is waiting for the lock to finish filling so they can open the upstream lock gate and let them out.

The lock has been opened and they are moving on up stream. The Ohio river has a huge amount of traffic so this goes on around the clock. Another barge had pulled up waiting their turn to lock through.