Montgomery, New Cumberland auxiliary lock chambers closed, main chambers remain open

Published May 26, 2015

The Pittsburgh District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is alerting navigation industry that the auxiliary lock chambers at Montgomery and New Cumberland locks and dams on the Ohio River are closed due to deteriorating conditions.

The auxiliary chambers serve as back-ups to the main chambers at each facility.  The main chambers will remain open to traffic, but should the main chambers close for any reason; this could result in a total river closure.

Work on the auxiliary chambers is not expected to be complete until Spring 2016. At New Cumberland, severe structural deterioration and widespread fatigue cracking of the upstream miter gates have resulted in not being able to properly close the gates and fill the chamber.

At Montgomery, engineering analysis of the auxiliary lock chamber is ongoing. Recent dive inspections revealed significant damage and deterioration of the downstream miter sill that impacts structural stability of the miter gates. The miter gates cannot be fully opened or closed at this time due to the extent of debris build-up in the lock chamber. Dredging is being coordinated at this time and is required before final structural analysis and assessment can be completed.

To view navigation traffic and lock service status, please visit:

Or call Montgomery at (724) 643-8400 and New Cumberland at (740) 537-2571.

For river conditions and navigation notices and charts, visit

As part of its navigation mission, the US Army Corps of Engineers, Pittsburgh operates and maintains 23 lock and dam facilities on the area’s three main rivers – the Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio. This is the largest, oldest and most fatigued navigation system in the nation.

The district’s navigation structures not only provide reliable river commerce, but also provide water supplies for drinking, industrial use, firefighting and sanitation. The sustained pools of water provided by navigation dams encourage economic development within the region.


Release no. 15-142