Kentucky Lock Addition Project

Kentucky Lock Addition ProjectKentucky Lock is located in western Kentucky at Mile 22.4 of the Tennessee River.  A feasibility report completed in 1992 recommended a new 110-foot by 1,200-foot lock adjacent and landward of the existing 110-foot by 600-foot lock.  The project was authorized for construction in WRDA 96 and construction commenced in July 1998. 

In addition to the new lock, other major project features include: a new two lane bridge for U.S. Highway 62 and a single track bridge for the P&L Railway, Inc. across the Tennessee River just below the dam; five additional new secondary bridges related to the relocation of Hwy 62 and the P&L RR; the relocation of four existing east bank TVA transmission towers and the construction of four more towers on powerhouse island; numerous other utility relocations; environmental mitigation features; and enhanced tailwater fishing.

Project Abstract:

  • Average delays to towing industry range from four to seven hours per tow – the highest of any lock in the Ohio River system.
  • From 1999 to 2013 annual tonnage passing through the Kentucky-Barkley system has varied from 28 to 43 million tons.
  • Current construction for the upstream portion of the lock began in 2010, and is scheduled to continue into 2016.
  • The project was not included in the president's fiscal year 2015 budget.
  • It is estimated that the project could be completed in six years with full funding.

Work Accomplished:

Kentucky Lock Addition Project Work AccomplishedConstruction activities for the Kentucky Lock Addition project began with the relocation of four TVA transmission towers and construction of four other towers to provide proper clearances under the power lines for vessel passing through the future 1,200 foot lock.  The tower relocation work was completed in 2002.  Next, work began to relocate the P&L Railway and Highway 62 bridges downstream of Kentucky Dam; earth work was first completed on the east and west bank abutments then bridge piers and spans were constructed across the river and opened for traffic in 2009. The upstream cofferdam was competed in 2006 to hold back the reservoir during excavation and construction efforts for the new lock.