Visitors Guide to the
Melvin Price Locks and Dam
#1 Lock and Dam Way
East Alton, Illinois
or the public can contact the National Great Rivers Museum
toll free at 877-462-6979

Accessible Parking Accessible Picnic Facilities Accessible Interpretive Exhibits Accessible Bike Trail Accessible Scenic View Accessible Wildlife Viewing Accessible Gift Shop Accessible Restrooms Tour Bus Accommadations Bald Eagle Viewing

Every year, millions of tons of commodities pass through the Melvin Price Locks and Dam. The facility is located south of the majestic Clark Bridge near Alton, Illinois on the Upper Mississippi River at river mile 200.78, two miles downstream from the original Lock and Dam No. 26. The Melvin Price Locks and Dam help to control the flow of the Mississippi and is the means by which barges are able to navigate the river.

This is the first replacement structure on the Upper Mississippi River nine-foot navigation project. Construction of the Locks and Dam began in 1978 and was completed in 1994. The dam is 1,160 feet long, with 9 tainter gates, each 110 feet wide by 42 feet high. There are two lock chambers at Melvin Price. The main chamber is 1,200 feet long by 110 feet wide. The auxiliary chamber is 600 feet long by 110 feet wide.

Visitors can watch river craft use the locks and free tours are conducted daily. Sign up for tours at the information desk in the National Great Rivers Museum. Call ahead for tour times. Bald Eagles can be seen during the winter months from December through March.

Bird Watching
The Melvin Price Locks and Dam is listed on the National Audubon Society's Great River Birding Trail. They report that this is one of the best places to view large number of gulls, above and below the locks and dam. Expect 7 or more species, including rarities like Glaucous, Iceland, Great Black-backed, and Lesser Black-backed, on a good day.

How the Melvin Price Locks Work

Visiting the Melvin Price Locks & Dam
     Visiting Hours
          Open daily 9 am - 5 pm
          Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day

There is no charge to visit the Melvin Price Locks & Dam.

Directions: The Melvin Price Locks and Dam is located on IL-143 (the Great River Road) south of the Clark Bridge between the communities of Alton and Wood River.

GPS Coordinates

Learn more about the and Alton and Wood River areas.

Regional Locks and Dams - Get more information on the Locks and Dams in the Middle Mississippi River Valley from Lock and Dam No.19 in Keokuk, Iowa to and Lock and Dam No. 27 in Granite City, Illinois just north of St. Louis.

Locking Through The Locks: "Locking Through" is the term used to describe the process of navigating a vessel through the lock.

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