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John A. Weeks III
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Highways, Byways, And Bridge Photography
Lock & Dam #20
Mississippi River Lock & Dam
Canton, Missouri

Lock & Dam #20

• Structure: Lock & Dam #20.
• Location: River Mile 343.1.
• Dam Width: 2,475 Feet Overall, 2,144 Foot Main Structure.
• River Elevation (Pool): 480 Feet.
• River Elevation (Outflow): 470 Feet.
• Water Fall: 10 Feet.
• Annual Lock Traffic: 3,233 Vessels, 25,541,000 Tons (2005).
• Date Opened: November 20, 1935.
These photos show Lock & Dam #20, located in the small town of Canton, Missouri. While most of the lock & dam structures are a combination of concrete structure and earthworks, this lock & dam is all structure. In addition to the 110 foot by 600 foot lock and the unfinished auxiliary lock, the main dam is 2,144 feet long. It consists of 40 Tainter gates and 3 of the more modern roller gates. The entire lock & dam system spans over 2,600 feet.

The photos below show the lock & dam during high water in the autumn season. Normally, autumn is a low water time of the year, but unusually rainy weather to the north has caused rivers to rise. In this case, the river is free flowing and has no drop at the dam. Normally, the downriver side of the dam would have a 10 foot drop.

There may be big changes coming to Lock & Dam #20 in the near future. First, the City Of Quincy has applied to install a hydro power generator at Lock & Dam #20. Second, the US Congress has passed a bill that would fund expansion of the locks starting at Lock & Dam #20 to be 1,200 feet long to accommodate the modern sized barge tows that today must be broken up and lock through in two pieces. This would reduce average lock time from 3 hours down to about 45 minutes.


Lock & Dam #20
Lock & Dam #20
Lock & Dam #20
Lock & Dam #20
Lock & Dam #20
Lock & Dam #20
Lock & Dam #20
Lock & Dam #20

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