Locks and Dams

Crack Discovery Closes Melvin Price Main Lock

The St. Louis Engineer District temporarily closed the 1,200-foot main chamber at Melvin Price Locks and Dam in Alton, Ill., August 1 to all commercial and recreational traffic after a crack was discovered on one of the lock chamber’s lift gates during an inspection after an allision.

St. Louis District spokesman George Stringham said the allision, by a lead barge in a 15-barge tow, was classified as “minor,” and it was not clear whether the allision itself had anything to do with the crack. As of August 2, there was one upbound and one downbound tow waiting for lockage, both of 15 barges. Corps personnel were working on the repair. The chamber was reopened the afternoon of August 4; by then the queue had grown to two downbound tows and four upbound tows.

The 600-foot auxiliary chamber remained open and available for lockages as needed.

The district worked closely with industry and the Coast Guard to coordinate traffic, Stringham said.