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A picture of boats repairing a lock on the Mississippi River
After engineers discovered erosion along the overflow dike at Lock and Dam 25, the Dredge Potter (at left) was brought in to assist in repairs before flooding could threaten the stability of the dike.
(U.S. Army Corps of Engineers St. Louis District)

Researchers from UT’s Center for Transportation Research and Vanderbilt University issued a wide-ranging report on the status of river locks in the US, discussing their importance to the economy and the need to invest further in them with WorkBoat, a site dedicated to water transport.

The group focused on four locks in the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers, noting that a disruption in river traffic at just those sites would have a harmful impact on the economies of 18 states, including the primary shipping routes for soybeans and corn.

The authors noted that, “each of the four locks considered within the study helps shippers to avoid more than $1 billion in additional transportation costs each year.”

The Center for Transportation Research is housed in the Tickle College of Engineering.

The story can be read online at WorkBoat

The report can be seen online at the National Waterways Foundation