Mississippi River 9-Foot Channel, Lock & Dam No. 19, Upper Mississippi River, Keokuk, Lee County, IA
Significance: Rare, intact example of nationally significant historic engineering listed on the National Register of Historic Places as part of the Lock 19 National Register District. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nine-Foot Channel Project (1927-1940) represents the culmination of a 100-year effort to improve the navigability of the Upper Mississippi River between the mouth of the Missouri River and Minneapolis, Minnesota. This specific project arose as a response to the farm crisis of the 1920s. Proponents of the New Deal adopted the project and gave speed to its construction as a means of providing public employment during the more general depression of the 1930s. By the 1940s, the completed project had converted over 650 miles of free-flowing river into a series of interconnected reservoirs which ensured enough water for fully loaded modern boats and barges to navigate the system. This constituted a significant alteration of the natural environment of the Upper Mississippi River. However, the project also brought economic benefits to the communities along and around the river corridor and lead to new recreational opportunities for the entire region.
Survey number: HAER IA-27
Building/structure dates: 1877 Initial Construction
Building/structure dates: 1889 Subsequent Work
Building/structure dates: 1914 Subsequent Work
Building/structure dates: 1957 Subsequent Work