Chesapeake and Ohio Canal – Lift Locks

Lock 45 near Dam 5

Lift locks on the C&O Canal have a generally uniform construction, typically stone walls and wooden gates which form a “V” that points uphill. Some locks have wooden bottoms instead of stone. Wikipedia presents the following view of a ” empty” canal lock below. A lock chamber is separated from the rest of the canal by an upper pair and a lower pair of mitre gates. The gates in each pair close against each other at an 18° angle to approximate an arch against the water pressure on the “upstream” side of the gates when the water level on the “downstream” side is lower. Continue Reading