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CINCINNATI -- Traffic on the Ohio River west of Cincinnati was shut down because of damage to the Markland Locks.The Lock is located near Vevay, Ind., and Warsaw, Ky. The Locks were damaged Sunday morning, according to the Lock master, and is impassable until it is repaired.
One of the miter gates (the gates that allow boats and barges to enter and leave the locks) came unhinged due to mechanical malfunction. It came completely off, and is thought to be somewhere on the bottom of the Ohio River.The gates were known to be in poor condition due to wear, corrosion, and cracking, and money had been appropriated for their overhaul. The work was planned to start in 2011. Army Corps of Engineers inspectors had cited the danger of interruption to river traffic due to unreliability of the gates.Edit: From the description, it must have been a gate at the downstream end of the main lock that came off. There are two locks so traffic isn't entirely stopped, but the auxiliary lock is smaller, and will present quite a bottleneck.
There is really a serious problem with a wealthy country that lets its infrastructure get in the sorry state that ours is in. Best country in the world? I don't think there really is a "best" country. But as far as our our infrastructure goes, we are slowly becoming a developing country, if we aren't already. The most state-of-the-art air traffic control system is in China. The best passenger rail systems are in Europe and Japan with a host of developing nations catching up faster than we are. China is even a leader in privately-financed highways, yet here there is no political will in the US to shore up the bankrupt highway trust fund.