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Lock and Dam No. 15
is a lock
A lock is a device for raising and lowering boats between stretches of water of different levels on river and canal waterways. The distinguishing feature of a lock is a fixed chamber in which the water level can be varied; whereas in a caisson lock, a boat lift, or on a canal inclined plane, it is...
A dam is a barrier that impounds water or underground streams. Dams generally serve the primary purpose of retaining water, while other structures such as floodgates or levees are used to manage or prevent water flow into specific land regions. Hydropower and pumped-storage hydroelectricity are...
located on the Upper
The Upper Mississippi River is the portion of the Mississippi River upstream of Cairo, Illinois, United States. From the headwaters at Lake Itasca, Minnesota, the river flows approximately 2000 kilometers to Cairo, where it is joined by the Ohio River to form the Lower Mississippi...
The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, this river rises in western Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains...
. It spans the river between Rock Island, Illinois
Rock Island is the county seat of Rock Island County, Illinois, United States. The population was 40,884 at the 2010 census. Located on the Mississippi River, it is one of the Quad Cities, along with neighboring Moline, East Moline, and the Iowa cities of Davenport and Bettendorf. The Quad Cities...
and Davenport, Iowa
Davenport is a city located along the Mississippi River in Scott County, Iowa, United States. Davenport is the county seat of and largest city in Scott County. Davenport was founded on May 14, 1836 by Antoine LeClaire and was named for his friend, George Davenport, a colonel during the Black Hawk...
. Lock and Dam 15 is the largest roller dam
A Roller dam is a type of hydro-control device specially designed to mitigate erosion. They are most often used to divert water for irrigation but the largest and most notable examples are used to ease river navigation.- Use :...
in the world, its dam is 1203 feet (366.7 m) long and consists of nine 109 feet (33.2 m) non-submersible, non-overflow roller gates and two 109 feet (33.2 m) non-submersible overflow roller gates. It is unusual among the upper Mississippi River dams in that it has only roller gates, has different sizes and types of roller gates, it is not perpendicular to the flow of the river and is one of the few facilities that has a completed auxiliary lock. The main lock is 110 feet (33.5 m) wide by 600 feet (182.9 m) long and its auxiliary lock is 110 feet (33.5 m) wide by 360 feet (109.7 m) long. In 2004, the facility was listed in the National Register of Historic Places
The National Register of Historic Places is the United States government's official list of districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects deemed worthy of preservation...
as Lock and Dam No. 15 Historic District, #04000175 covering 3590 acres (14.5 km²), 2 buildings, 9 structures, and 1 object.
- Government Bridge, passes near the locks.
- Rock Island Arsenal
The Rock Island Arsenal comprises , located on Arsenal Island, originally known as Rock Island, on the Mississippi River between the cities of Davenport, Iowa, and Rock Island, Illinois. It lies within the state of Illinois. The island was originally established as a government site in 1816, with...
adjacent to the locks.