Pittsburgh District Header Image


Home > Missions > Navigation > Locks and Dams > Maxwell Locks & Dam

Maxwell Locks & Dam

Aerial view of Maxwell Locks and Dam142 Maxwell Locks and Dam
E. Millsboro, PA 15433-1261

Maxwell Locks and Dam is one of nine navigation structures which provide for year-round navigation on the Monongahela River between Pittsburgh, Pa., and Fairmont, W.Va. It maintains a pool for 20.8 miles upstream to Grays Landing Lock and Dam near Grays Landing, Pa.

Maxwell Locks and Dam is located at river mile 61.2 approximately 5 miles south of Brownsville, Pa. The lock chambers and operations buildings are situated along the right bank of the river. Road access to the project is from a local legislative route south of Brownsville.

Construction of Maxwell Locks and Dam began in 1960 and was completed in 1965. The construction of this facility resulted in the removal of old Lock and Dam 6 at Rice’s Landing, Pa.

Project Information
Maxwell Locks and Dam consists of two lock chambers and a gated dam. This type of dam is constructed to permit increased control over the water level in the navigation pool upriver of the dam. Machinery mounted on tall concrete piers moves large chains which lift gates that are hinged into the body of the piers. As the gates are raised or lowered to control the amount of water flowing under them, the upstream pool is maintained at a relatively constant level for an authorized depth of at least 9 feet throughout its length. The dam, however, cannot be operated to control flood flows. An incidental benefit derived from the pool formed by the dam is the availability of a source of municipal and industrial water.