Locks and Dams
Explore the historic waterway – the winding Ohio River and its significance to the nation’s transportation infrastructure. In order to better navigate the Ohio River, the US Army Corps of Engineers designed a system of locks and dams. Approved by Congress in 1910, the initial project produced 51 wooden wicket dams and locks along the length of the river. Today, there are 21 locks on the Ohio River. Nine locks are located along the Ohio portion of the Ohio River Scenic Byway. Of these, many produce hydroelectricity and some have recreation areas for the public.
In Jefferson County, near Stratton, the New Cumberland Locks and Dam is a project finished in 1961 to replace the original wooden model built by the Army Corps of Engineers in 1914. Near Yorkville, the Pike Island Locks and Dam was built in 1965, also to replace one of the Corps’ original wooden structures.
In Monroe County, the Hannibal Locks and Dam finished in 1975 is one of six major river facilities on the upper Ohio River with an observation platform and a visitors’ center. An adjacent public use area has picnic tables and other amenities.
Near Washington County, the Willow Island Locks and Dam completed in 1976, despite a devastating construction disaster, offers a picnic shelter and footpaths.
Near Meigs County, the Belleville Locks and Dam was completed in 1968, but added hydroelectric generation in 1999. Picnic facilities are available.
In southern Meigs County, the Racine Locks and Dam, completed in 1968, has two recreation areas.
Near Gallia County, the Robert C. Byrd Locks and Dam was finished in 1993. The public recreation area includes a fishing pier in season and a picnic area with a playground open year round.
In Scioto County, the Greenup Locks and Dam, built in 1962, features picnic facilities.
In Clermont County, the Captain Anthony Meldahl Locks and Dam, constructed in 1964, offers facilities for river and wildlife observation, and picnicking.