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New Cumberland Locks and Dam

Pittsburgh District
Published Jan. 10, 2024

Project Information 
The New Cumberland project has two locks and a gated dam, one of the two major types of dams in service in the Pittsburgh District. Gated dams are constructed to permit increased control over the water level in the navigation pool upriver of the dam. Machinery mounted on tall concrete piers moves large chains which lift gates that are hinged into the body of the piers. As the gates are raised or lowered to control the amount of water flowing under them, the upstream pool is maintained at a relatively constant level for an authorized depth of at least 9 feet throughout its length. The dam, however, cannot be operated to control flood flows. An incidental benefit derived from the pool formed by the dam is the availability of a source of municipal and industrial water.

New Cumberland averages about 320 commercial lockages every month, plus another 120 lockages of pleasure craft during the busy summer months. 

The New Cumberland navigation project was constructed from 1955 to 1961, with the locks opening for traffic in November 1959. This facility eliminated the original Locks and Dams 7, 8 and 9 which were constructed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers between 1904-1914. The three replaced projects each contained a single lock and the old-style wooden wicket dam. 

New Cumberland Locks and Dam is located on the right descending bank of the Ohio River, just off Ohio State Route 7 at the small town of Stratton, Ohio. Across the river and two miles downstream lies New Cumberland, W.Va., the originally planned site of the lock and dam, and hence its namesake. The tall stacks and white steam of the coal-fired Ohio Edison Sammis Power Plant between Stratton and neighboring Port Homer tower over the project. 

P.O. Box 159
Stratton, OH 43961-0159

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