Saturday, June 20, 2009

Greenup Locks and Dam

On my "someday" list is writing a long piece about the Greenup Locks and Dam.

I have a lot of prints and slides of the dam, but very few digital photos. I took this one Friday evening about 90 minutes before sunset. Because the dam faces west, I wanted to shoot it when the sun was most likely to be shining on it directly.

It had been a while since I had been there, and I had forgotten how loud the water can be coming through the gates and through the hydropower plant (more on that below).

For the record, when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was designing the dam in the 1940s and 1950s, the Commonwealth of Kentucky paid the federal government money ($200,000, I think, but I'm not sure) to build  the dam piers strong enough to support a two-lane bridge someday.

The bridge was built in the 1980s and opened in 1985, maybe a month after Huntington's East End bridge opened. I wrote a story about the bridge, but the city editor said he was going to hold on to it because of all the East End bridge coverage. He was sort of bridged out.

Anyway, of all the dams on the Ohio, only Greenup and Markland (between Cincinnati and Louisville) were built to be able to support a bridge. Markland's bridge opened several years before Greenup's.

Greenup's hydroelectric power plant was built in France and floated across the ocean and up the Mississippi and Ohio rivers. But that's a story I'm saving for my Ohio River picture book, if I ever get around to writing it.