Towboat Crews Pull Pinned Barge Away From Markland Dam

On January 29, 2024, two barges broke away from a tow on the Ohio River with one, AEP 772, pushed broadside against the upper gates at Markland Locks and Dam.  

The stray barge was immediately corralled in the lock, while the otherwas pulled over to the dam and was pinned on the piers, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Louisville District public affairs office. 

Both barges were loaded with scrap metal.

AEP 772 was successfully pulled away from the dam the following day by the Campbell Transportation Company towboats M/V Andrea S and M/V Marci Gale after their crews secured a line over a bitt and maneuvered it free.

The Markland Locks and Dam is located on the Ohio River at Mile 531.5 just below Pittsburgh, Pa. 

The lock-dam complex is 26.5 miles upstream from Madison, In., and 3.5 miles downstream from Warsaw, Ky.

The navigation locks are located on the Kentucky side of the river. 

The upper pool above the dam extends upstream for a distance of 95.3 miles to the Meldahl Locks and Dam at mile 436.0 and for a short distance up three navigable tributaries – the Miami, Licking, and Little Miami Rivers.

The January 29 incident is the latest barge-realted casualty involving the Markland Locks and Dam.

In December 2018, a towboat struck the locks grounding two of its barges, and in March 2023, ten barges broke loose from their tow with three becoming pinned near the dam’s entrance.