FRANKFORT — Crews are working to repair locks along the Kentucky River as part of a project to open 64 miles of waterways.
Jerry Graves, executive director of the Kentucky River Authority, told The State Journal that $4 million in excess construction funds are being used for repairs at Locks 1, 2, 3 and 4 over the next two years. When the project is complete, Graves said, it would open the river to boat traffic from Frankfort to Carrollton.
He said Lock 4 in Frankfort, which is being repaired, is in better condition than the other locks. Some of the work will include removing gates to replace oak timbers, installing anchor arms and fixing valves that control water flow.
Lock 3 near Monterey will have similar work performed, and Lock 1 in Carrollton will have a retaining wall replaced. Work on Lock 2 in Lockport will begin next near.
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"They just need some TLC," Graves said. "This should give us a 30- or 40-year fix."
He said the last time the gates at Lock 4 had extensive work done was in the 1980s.
If crews finish the work by late September, Graves said, the boating season might be extended until October so kinks can be worked out before the river is shut down for the winter. He said Lock 4 is typically operated on weekends from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
Graves said the repairs also have the potential to improve Frankfort's economy, especially if boaters travel to the city from the Ohio River.