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Highways, Byways, And Bridge Photography
Lock & Dam #6
Mississippi River Lock & Dam
Trempealeau, Wisconsin

Lock & Dam #6

• Structure: Lock & Dam #6.
• Location: River Mile 714.1.
• Dam Width: 6,000 Feet Overall, 893 Foot Wide Dam Structure.
• River Elevation (Pool): 646 Feet.
• River Elevation (Outflow): 640 Feet.
• Water Fall: 6 Feet.
• Annual Lock Traffic: 7,328 Vessels, 10,381,000 Tons (2005).
• Date Opened: June 1936.
Trempealeau means the mountain with its feet in the river. This name was suggested by early French explorers who thought that this region of the great river looked very much like the Rhine River. In the mid 1800's, Trempealeau became an important grain shipping point. That came to an end when the railroads largely took over that role in the late 1800's.

Early bulk shipments were transported downriver by rafts. The Congress of the United States authorized a project in the mid-1800's to build a 4-1/2 foot deep channel to accommodate the rafters. This was accomplished by building wing dams, narrowing the river, and speeding up the current. This plan evolved into the 6 foot channel. A river boat could easily navigate the 6 foot channel. The river, however, could not keep a consistent water level, and by mid-summer, the channel would no longer be usable.

The 9-foot channel was authorized in about 1930. Work was sped up because of the need for depression era jobs. Most of the navigation structures were built in the early 1930's and opened in the mid 1930's. Sportsmen in the Trempealeau area fought against the dam, saying it would ruin the river forever. The city favored the dam, hoping it would help the city recapture its former glory. In the end, the project cost just over $5-million in depression era dollars, no industry was attracted to Trempealeau, and the area is known as a sportsman's paradise.


Lock & Dam #6
Lock & Dam #6
Lock & Dam #6
Lock & Dam #6
Lock & Dam #6
Lock & Dam #6
Lock & Dam #6
Lock & Dam #6
Lock & Dam #6
Lock & Dam #6
Lock & Dam #6
Lock & Dam #6

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