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Old 19th of September 2008 (Fri)   #1
canonloader
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Default Lock And Dam #7 On The Mississippi - Through The Locks

These guys have got to be the best boat drivers around. Here he is, easing 6 barges and his tow boat into a narrow lock with maybe 2 feet to spare on each side...


This is where it has to go...


Easing forward, the boat is moving so slow you have to look twice to see it moving at all...


The guys on deck don't have much to do while this goes on...


Almost in. The driver is jockying his props forward or reverse to stop the barges, at which point, they will tie it off to bollards on the lip of the lock, then let in water through huge valves in the floor of the lock, which will equalize the level with the water upstream. A rise of 9 feet right now...


The Lock controllers close the downstream locks...


Once the levels are the same, the front gates open and he's on his way...
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Old 19th of September 2008 (Fri)   #2
Jamie Holladay
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Default Re: Lock And Dam #7 On The Mississippi - Through The Locks

Cool series.
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Old 19th of September 2008 (Fri)   #3
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Default Re: Lock And Dam #7 On The Mississippi - Through The Locks

Nice coverage!
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Old 19th of September 2008 (Fri)   #4
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Default Re: Lock And Dam #7 On The Mississippi - Through The Locks

canonloader, I Love those shots
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Old 19th of September 2008 (Fri)   #5
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Default Re: Lock And Dam #7 On The Mississippi - Through The Locks

Nice to see how these things work
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Old 19th of September 2008 (Fri)   #6
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Default Re: Lock And Dam #7 On The Mississippi - Through The Locks

Nice set Mitch!
Although I disagree on the "narrow lock" statement
You with the COE or general public?
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Old 19th of September 2008 (Fri)   #7
John Trogdon
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Default Re: Lock And Dam #7 On The Mississippi - Through The Locks

Reminds me of when I was a kid, living in Keokuk Iowa. That's where lock #19 was.

Thanks for sharing.
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Old 19th of September 2008 (Fri)   #8
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Default Re: Lock And Dam #7 On The Mississippi - Through The Locks

Great set.....seeing as how slow they had to move, you must have been there a long time waiting to document it all
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Old 19th of September 2008 (Fri)   #9
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Default Re: Lock And Dam #7 On The Mississippi - Through The Locks

Nice shots. I live just outside of Alton, IL where the Melvin Price Lock and Dam is located. I've taken the tour a few times. It's quite a sight to see them move a full tow into the 1200 ft locks.
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Old 20th of September 2008 (Sat)   #10
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Default Re: Lock And Dam #7 On The Mississippi - Through The Locks

Thanks for looking and commenting jamiw, Frank, Derek, Chris, Ken, John, Robert and Mojo.

Ken, no, I'm just the public. I go to this place when it's all frozen in in winter to shoot Eagles up close, and during the summer to shoot Pelicans. Recently I bought a Ultra Wide Angle and have taken an interest in shooting Landscapes. I was there the day before with a 300, but it was way too long for anything in the lock, so today I decided to go back and shoot the lock and dam with the wide angle and got lucky with the tow being cycled through for the second time, just as I got there. You can see his first set of barges on the outside of the upstream lock gates in #2 above.

But, this is a narrow lock compared to some of them I have seen further South. This tow might not have had to break apart the load in some of them.

Robert, yes, I was there for more than an hour, in which time, they only cycled once for this guy, which had apparently already cycled once before I got there and left half his load on the upstream side cause it all would not fit inside in one shot. Imagine the work that entails. They have to break apart the load, leave half of it floating below the lock, cycle through the first half, leave it tied off above the lock, cycle back through, go back to the first half they left below the lock, hook up again, cycle through again. While the upstream gates are open, they push up to the first half they left earlier, reset all the cables to the barges, then he can finally leave.

In this instance, there were two bass boats waiting upstream to get through. When he finally pushed away, as seen in the last shot, the two bassboats came in, they lowered the water, then let them out. As they left, there were two paddlewheelers already stacked up below the dam, waiting their turn to go through. They are kind of interesting as transportation, so here they are also.

These two boats stay in La Crosse Wisconsin and do daily excursions up and down the river. One is actual steam, this first one, while the other is diesel and uses that to run the paddles...


This other boat is the smaller of the two, and he had to circle outside the lock until the other one was tied off inside, then he came in and they cycled them both through together...
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Old 20th of September 2008 (Sat)   #11
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Default Re: Lock And Dam #7 On The Mississippi - Through The Locks

Interesting shots, looks like a lot to see there. Love those old paddle steamers.
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Old 20th of September 2008 (Sat)   #12
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Default Re: Lock And Dam #7 On The Mississippi - Through The Locks

Thanks Bruno. Yes, it is a quite interesting place to spend some time, if your into river traffic. It all has to go through the locks. Or, over the dam I guess.

You might be interested in this if you like the old steam paddlewheelers.
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Old 20th of September 2008 (Sat)   #13
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Default Re: Lock And Dam #7 On The Mississippi - Through The Locks

Quote:
Originally Posted by canonloader View Post
...You can see his first set of barges on the outside of the upstream lock gates in #2 above.

But, this is a narrow lock compared to some of them I have seen further South. This tow might not have had to break apart the load in some of them...
Ah I see...I believe you meant to say short as in length (600' vs. 1200'). The 110' wide lock is pretty much a standard size...until post panamax (180' wide) locks get built.
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Old 21st of September 2008 (Sun)   #14
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Default Re: Lock And Dam #7 On The Mississippi - Through The Locks

Yes, I believe that 600'x110' is the minimum for the locks. He was only 3 wide, but too long for this lock. Half of the load had already been pushed through and left on the upstream side when I got there. We do have smaller tow boats that work this area and help with the big tows. When there are too many barges, I guess it's cheaper to hire a smaller boat to help in breaking down the load and getting it through the locks. I suppose it depends on having a place to tie off the barges, you can't have them just drifting around.
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Last edited by canonloader : 21st of September 2008 (Sun) at 04:59.
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