Montgomery Locks and Dam


Pittsburgh District
Published Jan. 10, 2024

Project Information 
Montgomery Locks and Dam has a gated dam, one of the two major types in service in the Pittsburgh District. This type of dam is 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.

Montgomery averages about 300 commercial lockages every month, plus another 150 lockages of pleasure craft during the busy summer months. 

Montgomery Locks and Dam was constructed from 1932 to 1936. The locks opened in June 1936. This facility eliminated the original Locks and Dams 4 (built 1898-1908), 5 (1898-1907) and 6 (1892-1904). These three dams were old-style wooden wicket dams built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to raise the first shallow navigational pool on this stretch of the Ohio. 

Montgomery lies on a thickly-forested length of the river on the left descending bank off Route 18, about 5 miles downriver from Beaver, Pa., near Raccoon Creek. It is about three miles upriver from the first large scale nuclear power plant in the U.S. at Shippingport, PA. 

100 Montgomery Dam Road
Monaca, PA 15061-2221