NR 19-023: Public invited for Wilson Lock tour on Tennessee River

Nashville District Public Affairs
Published April 16, 2019

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (April 16, 2019) – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District and Tennessee Valley Authority invite the public for a free tour of Wilson Lock at Tennessee River mile 259.4 in Florence, Ala., Saturday, June 8, 2019.  Four groups of 25 will be able to tour the facility at 8 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 11 a.m., and 12:30 p.m. Central Time. Pre-registration is required for all tour guests (including minors).  The deadline to register is May 29, 2019. Personal information collected during sign-up is used for security background checks.

Sign up for a tour at

NOTE: You must provide full name, address, phone number, driver's license, state of issue, for every person 18 and over signed up for the tour.  If it is not provided that person will not be allowed to participate in the tour upon arrival. When signing up, each individual must have a different e-mail address or the website will not accept additional signups for additional family members. Please put “None” in Driver’s License field for children who do not possess them.

Tour Details and Rules

  • All facilities are ADA accessible.
  • Only visitors with approval and confirmation will be permitted on the tour.  No substitutions or additions are allowed.
  • All participants over 16 years of age must provide photo identification upon arrival for the tour.
  • Visitors may not carry packages, backpacks, or other containers during the tour.
  • No high-heel, open heel shoes, including clogs and crocs or bare feet, will be allowed on a tour. Tennis shoes are recommended.
  • All children 16 and under must be accompanied by a parent, guardian, or responsible adult during the tour.
  • Any increase in threat conditions can result in approved tours being canceled with little notice.  We regret any inconvenience this may cause.
  • An e-mail will be sent to anyone signed up for a tour if for any reason a tour is canceled.


The lock is located at 704 South Wilson Dam Road, Florence, AL, 35630. It is also located at mile 259.4 of the Tennessee River in Lauderdale County.


The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District operates and maintains the 110-by 600-foot lock at the Tennessee Valley Authority project. With a maximum lift of 94 feet, it is the highest single lift lock east of the Rockies. An auxiliary lock has two 60-feet wide by 300-foot long chambers that operate in tandem. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers constructed Wilson Dam, hydropower plant and its auxiliary navigation lock. Construction of the dam began in 1918 and was completed in 1926. In 1959, TVA completed the main single-lift lock to replace the old and inadequate double-lift lockage system. It began operating Nov. 10, 1959. The locks allow commercial and recreational traffic to flow up and down the river, while the 16-mile, 15,500-acre lake formed in the rear of the dam provides beauty and tourism to the area. 

Originally constructed with eight hydro generators, the Wilson Dam has been expanded to include 10 additional generators capable of generating 630 million watts of power per hour at full load, which is equal to or greater than many fossil power units built in the state or in the Tennessee Valley Authority system.  A new single-lift lock has replaced the original locks, increasing barge traffic and providing community and visitor access to recreational facilities up and down the river.

Wilson Lock is located in the northwest corner of Alabama and is one of 10 locks on the Tennessee River that are operated as a system of locks, which together makes it possible for recreational boaters to have freedom of movement and for commerce traffic to deliver goods and services across the region. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers operates and maintains the navigation locks and performs maintenance dredging in the main channel and safety harbors.  The dams and reservoirs are operated by TVA, which also promotes navigational development.

For more information about the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District, visit the district’s website at, on Facebook at and, and on Twitter at For more information about TVA and its 85-year mission of service to the Tennessee Valley, visit

Bill Peoples
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District
Travis Brickey
Tennessee Valley Authority

Release no. 19-013