Lock 11 Bypass Channel

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Lock 11 Bypass Channel

Who knew that a lock bypass channel in Illinois could look like the Amazon? This channel is only about 4 or 5 feet wide, cut through solid stone by workers over 100 years ago. This area around lock 11 in Ottawa, Illinois had natural channels cut by moving water thousands of years ago, so it was the perfect geologic place for a lock and bypass channel.

A bypass channel kept the water behind the lock from overflowing the lock gates. Once the water reached a determined level, it would spill over into the bypass channel and continue down stream.

Not easily reached, I could have explored this area for hours.

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