The motor vessel John Vaughn was the first to lock through the 1,200 foot lock chamber at John T. Myers on the Ohio River near Mt. Vernon, Indiana, Sept. 23, 2020, as it reopened to navigation traffic.
The main chamber had been closed since early July for routine maintenance and repairs to the miter gates and floating mooring bitts, which vessels use to tie off while in the chamber.
Approximately 30 employees from the Regional Rivers Repair Fleet’s Light Capacity Fleet were onsite each day working on repairs to the fenders on the lower miter gates and assisting with replacement of floating mooring bitts.
Simultaneously, a contractor— Innovative Piering, out of Sellersburg, Ind.,—worked to replace four floating mooring bitts and tracks.
“This temporary closure allowed us to perform routine inspections and repairs to increase reliability,” said Caleb Skinner, Louisville District operations manager for Locks and Dams. “More than 58 million tons of commodities pass through this lock annually, and these repairs ensure the navigation industry can keep moving commerce safely and efficiently through this stretch of the river.”