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Once Lock 11 has emptied, the gates open and the remaining barges are pushed in.


The Mississippi system is new to me, so here’s a question:  since this lock opened for navigation in 1937, what did traffic look like the first year?  Was double-locking a common occurrence?

Here’s a glance at how the tow is held together.





At first the exit is slow, but once the forward six barges are wired in place, which took no more than 10 minutes,

Barrett’s 6000+ hp engines accelerated, turbos screamed, and

her wake raced away.

Here’s the view back up to Eagle Point Park, where I took the first photos from.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.


Well . . . I was on a schedule to get to Dubuque, so the title provides alliteration if not accuracy.

Our timing was such that we could watch a tow make its way upbound at Lock & Dam 11, aka Eagle Point.

M/V Aaron F. Barrett was pushing twelve cement barges to St. Paul.


It was soon apparent to me that this would be a double-locking.

My estimate of barge length was about 200′.


There area just up from the lock was off limits, so I had no opportunity to see the mechanism that moves the non-propelled barges forward along the approach wall.   Anyone help with details here?



All photos by Will Van Dorp, who’s now working on part 2.



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