- Authorized Navigation Channel is a minimum of 9 feet deep by 200 feet wide
- Five (5) Locks and Dams with a total-lift of 141 feet
- Lock chambers are 82 feet wide by 705 feet long and accommodate a typical 6 barge tow and push boat.
By making the Red River navigable, new industries have been attracted to the region. Typically, newly attracted industries use the river to ship inbound and outbound cargo. Others do not directly use the river but still benefit from water-compelled rates (i.e., they use the option of barge transportation in negotiating more favorable rates from other transportation entities, like rail and trucking.)
A ride along the length of the Red River Waterway gives clues to how the river is being put to commercial use. A barge loaded with pressure vessels from Shreveport/Bossier heads for a petrochemical plant in Africa. Multiple barges heavy with military trucks and equipment move downstream from the Port of Alexandria. A shipment of liquid petroleum products heads for a distant distribution site. Barges piled high with aggregate roll past, destined for area road construction projects.
Public Ports in the Red River Waterway District:
Locks and Dams
What has transformed the river in the last decade is completion of a major Federal river improvement project that straightened the stream, stabilized its banks, eliminated flooding, and made year-round navigation possible.
The $1.9 billion Red River Waterway Project, authorized by Congress in 1968 and completed in 1994, added a series of five lock and dam complexes to the river. These structures perform a stair step effect on the river, creating controllable pools and passageways for river traffic.READ MORE