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Encyclopedia Dubuque


"Encyclopedia Dubuque is the online authority for all things Dubuque, written by the people who know the city best.”
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Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.


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ZEBULON PIKE LOCK AND DAM. Major navigational improvement on the Upper MISSISSIPPI RIVER. Work on the lock and dam, named for famed explorer Zebulon PIKE, began on February 2, 1934. The facility was first put into operation on September l0, 1937.

The eleventh of twenty-eight LOCKS and dams between St. Paul and Minneapolis, Minnesota, and St. Louis, Missouri, the locks cost $1,470,000 to construct. The dam, at 1,278 feet one of the largest on the river, helped maintain the nine-foot channel for river traffic.

The total cost of the project came to $7,443,000 with as many as 950 workers employed at the site at one time. Although it was announced that as many as four deaths could be expected on a project of this size, only two workers were killed. Harold Arendt fell to his death, and Ardenal Thompson was fatally struck on the head by a stern-operated clam shovel. (Photo Courtesy: Daniel Callahan)