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Robert C. Byrd Locks and Dam

Huntington District
Published Jan. 10, 2024


General Information

River and Harbor Act of 30 August 1935. Rehab-Replacement: Supplemental Appropriation Act of 1985 and Water Resources Development Act of 1986.

Lock Replacement $244,550,000; Dam Rehabilitation $ 46,700,000; Fish Hatchery Mitigation $ 13,800,000

Non-navigable, high-lift, gated dam, top length of gated section 1,132'. Eight roller gates, clear span 125'-6 between 16-foot piers, damming height of 29'- 6' above sills.

A meeting of all owners of lands affected and the new license holder were conducted and the future details of a possible new hydroelectric plant on Ohio side of RCB was announced. Details were uncertain but optimistic. More information will follow as it comes available.

Lands & Easements
Of an estimated 2,418 acres in the project, approximately 329 acres fee required for the lock site which includes 108 acres for fish hatchery, 120 acres for dredge disposal, 50 acres for recreation sites; 10 acres for the abutment site 1,801 acres for flowage easement.

Two new parallel locks, main lock 110' by 1200', auxiliary lock 110' by 600', miter service gates. Locks were activated on January 30, 1993.

Net Land Owned
329 acres fee at lock site,10 acres fee at abutment site, 50 acres fee at recreation site, 1,801 acres flowage easements

Normal upper pool elevation 538.0' m.s.l., upper pool length is 41.7 miles to Racine Dam on Ohio River and 44.6 miles to Winfield Dam on the Kanawha River. Normal upper pool surface area 12,600 acres, normal lower pool elevation 515.0' m.s.l., (upper pool of Greenup Dam), and normal lift 23.0'.

No extensive relocations necessary, but remedial measures required to adapt certain facilities to new pool conditions.

The Gallipolis Locks and Dam was built on the Ohio River near Gallipolis Ferry, W.Va., as part of a series of locks and dams to allow navigation year-round. It began operation in August 25, 1937, and final construction was completed in October 1937.

Fifty years later, construction began on a project to build bigger lock chambers, capable of locking through modern-sized tows and barges. Work began in November 1987 and was completed January 1993. The project consists of a main lock chamber 110-feet wide by 1,200-feet long with an auxiliary lock chamber 110-feet wide by 600-feet long. In January 1993 the lock and dam was renamed after West Virginia Senator Robert C. Byrd.

Construction to rehabilitate the 1,116-foot long dam began in August 1992 and was completed in 2002. Eight new roller gates were built, and control units, a motor control center and electric feeders were replaced.

In June 2007 the fishing access pier was opened to the public. The pier meets federally required accessibility standards. The fishing pier is closed during winter months to prevent vehicles from entering high water at pier level. It is scheduled to reopen to the public each May, providing the water level is below pier level.

The future will bring changes to the Ohio abutment side in the form of a new hydroelectric facility and a recreation area.

A public recreation area is located on the West Virginia side of river. It includes a park with a picnic area, playground and parking. The park is open year- round. Each year the fishing recreation area opens, depending on weather conditions or on Memorial Day (whichever comes first). The closing time at end of year is dictated by the weather. The park is closed at dusk and opens at 6:00 a.m. each day.

There are four public recreation areas.

Contact Information


How To Find Us

Ohio River, 279.2 miles below Pittsburgh, PA, and 9 miles below the City of Gallipolis, OH. Replaced locks and dams Nos. 24, 25 & 26 on Ohio River and Nos. 9, 10 and 11 on the Kanawha River.

Restricted Areas

Robert C. Byrd Locks and Dam
Robert C. Byrd Locks and Dam
Robert C. Byrd Locks and Dam
Robert C. Byrd Locks and Dam
Robert C. Byrd Locks and Dam
Photo By: Huntington District
VIRIN: 230103-A-A1409-020


Chick Lock

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