New Lock Construction Underway in Kentucky to Boost River Commerce

New Lock Construction Underway in Kentucky to Boost River Commerce

Louisville, KY – June 11, 2024 – Construction has officially begun on a new lock system in Kentucky, a critical infrastructure project aimed at enhancing river commerce along the Ohio River. The new lock, part of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ efforts to modernize the nation’s waterways, promises to significantly improve the efficiency and capacity of river traffic, benefiting the regional economy.

The $500 million project, located at the McAlpine Locks and Dam near Louisville, is designed to replace the outdated auxiliary lock, which has been a bottleneck for river traffic. The new lock will accommodate larger vessels and reduce wait times, facilitating smoother transit for commercial barges that transport essential goods such as coal, grain, and chemicals.

Governor Andy Beshear attended the groundbreaking ceremony, emphasizing the lock’s importance to Kentucky’s economy. “This new lock is a vital investment in our state’s infrastructure. It will not only create jobs during construction but also ensure that our industries remain competitive by improving the efficiency of our transportation network,” he stated.

The project is expected to generate around 1,000 construction jobs and is slated for completion by 2028. Once operational, the new lock will double the capacity of the current system, significantly reducing delays and transportation costs for businesses reliant on river transport.

The initiative has received widespread support from local businesses and industry groups. The Kentucky Chamber of Commerce highlighted the project’s potential to bolster the state’s logistics and supply chain capabilities. “Efficient waterway transportation is crucial for our industries. This new lock will provide a much-needed upgrade to our infrastructure, supporting economic growth and enhancing our ability to compete in national and global markets,” said Chamber President Ashli Watts.

Environmental considerations have also been a key component of the planning process. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has conducted extensive environmental impact assessments to ensure the project minimizes ecological disruption and supports sustainable practices.

As construction progresses, the new lock at the McAlpine Locks and Dam stands as a testament to Kentucky’s commitment to advancing its infrastructure and economic resilience. The project marks a significant step forward in modernizing the state’s waterways, promising long-term benefits for the region’s commerce and industry.

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