Photo of Dale Hollow Dam, with a dam with water pouring through the turbines, people in lower left looking up at it.


Greenup Locks and Dam

Huntington District
Published Jan. 10, 2024


Greenup Locks and Dam

General Information
The locks were open to navigation in 1962.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers replaced a set of aging gates at the Greenup Locks and Dam in 2012 at a cost of approximately $12 million.

River and Harbor Act of 3 March 1909, Sixtieth Congress, 2nd Session.

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

Non-navigable, high-lift, moveable gated dam, top length 1,287ft, including 245-foot fixed weir with 223-foot open crest. Nine tainter gates, clear span 100ft between 14-foot intermediate piers and 15-foot end piers, damming height 35ft above sills, clearance above maximum high water when fully raised approximately 5ft. The dam gates are non-submergible ogee sill units.

Of 3,258 acres in the project, approximately 166 acres fee required for the lock site, 45 acres fee for the abutment sites, 96 acres fee for recreation sites, 305 acres pondage easements were assigned to the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway Company and State Highway Department and Armco Steel Corporation and the City of Ashland, Kentucky, and Stowage easements or other lesser interests over the remaining area. In addition, 11.38 acres fee reassigned from old lock and dam sites.

The City of Hamilton, Ohio operates the hydroelectric plant of the Ohio abutment of Greenup Dam. The plant includes three turbines with total capacity of 70,000 kilowatts. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued License Number 2641 for the project on 29 March 1976. The project was placed in commercial operation on 7 December 1982. The entire generating structure is a watertight, steel-plate enclosure constructed in dry dock at St. Nazaire, France. The structure was shipped across the Atlantic Ocean, unloaded and towed to the site via the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers.

Two parallel locks, main lock 110ft by 1,200ft, auxiliary lock 110ft by 600ft, miter service gates, vertical-lift emergency gates.

Net Land Owned
166 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 elevations 515.0 feet m.s.l., upper pool length 61.8 miles to Robert C. Byrd Locks & Dam, normal upper pool surface area 11,200 acres, nominal lower pool elevation 485.0 feet m.s.l., (upper pool of Captain Anthony Meldahl Dam), normal lift 30.0 feet.

No extensive relocations necessary, but remedial measures required to adapt certain facilities to new pool conditions. Facilities include railroad and highway drainage structures and embankment slopes, municipal sewer outtakes and water intakes, pipe lines, power and communication lines, and waterway terminals.

Construction began in October 1954. The locks were initiated in October 1955 and were placed in operation 27 November 1959. Construction of the dam began in June 1958 and the pool was raised to full height 4 June 1962.

Highway bridge across the dam is completed. Hydroelectric Plant is completed.

Greenup Locks and Dam has a total of 11 public recreation areas.

Contact Information

How To Find Us
Ohio River, 341.0 miles below Pittsburgh, PA, and 5.0 miles below Greenup, KY. Replaced locks and dams Nos. 27,28,29 and 30 on Ohio River and No. 1 on Big Sandy River.

Restricted Areas

Restricted Areas
Restricted Areas
Restricted Areas
Restricted Areas
Restricted Areas
Photo By: Huntington District
VIRIN: 230103-A-A1409-018

Hydropower Projects

The Nashville District Hydropower Program began under the Flood Control Act of 1938, which authorized minimum provisions for hydropower at flood control projects.  The first power plant constructed in...
Kentucky Lock
Kentucky Lock is located near Gilbertsville, Kentucky, 22.4 miles from the confluence of the Tennessee and Ohio Rivers.  It is 20 miles east of Paducah, Kentucky. The 184-mile reservoir created by...
Wolf Creek Dam
History of Wolf Creek DamThe Wolf Creek Project was authorized by the Flood Control Act of 1938 and the Rivers and Harbor Act of 1946.  Construction of the project, designed and supervised by the U.S...
Old Hickory Dam
HistoryThe Old Hickory Lock and Dam, located on the Cumberland River at mile 216.2 in Sumner and Davidson Counties, Tennessee, and are approximately 25 miles upstream from Nashville, Tenn. The City of...
Martins Fork Dam
HistoryMartins Fork Lake is located at river mile 15.6 on the Martins Fork of the Cumberland River in the scenic mountainous terrain of Harlan County, 13 miles southeast of the town of Harlan,...
Laurel River Dam
Laurel River Lake is a key project in the development of the Cumberland River Basin.  The lake is located in southeastern Kentucky, encompassing portions of Laurel and Whitley Counties. In the 1960's,...