Green River Lock and Dam 5 removal will create a better environment for ecosystem and recreational activities

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – A lock and dam built in 1933 on the Green River is set to come down over the next two months after having not been used for commercial use since 1951.

Dam removal personnel with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are in the process of deconstructing the Green River Lock and Dam Five in Warren County.

The series of locks were built to help pool water to allow barges through the more shallow areas for commercial use, but, around 60 years ago, Lock 4 failed.

Then, just a handful of years ago, Lock 6 failed, according to Amy Babey, the Chief of civil works with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Louisville.

“Green River Lock and Dam one and two are still there and are still used for commercial navigation. Green River lock and dam three will remain in place. It is actually being stabilized by a local entity as part of a transfer. Green River 4, 5 and 6 and Barren River Lock and Dam 1 are the ones that are either being looked out for removal or transferred to the Commonwealth of Kentucky,” said Babey.

This $4 million project of removal is beneficial in several ways, according to Babey.

“The Green River system is a very unique inland river system. It is the most ecologically diverse river in the entire inland system in the United States. It has over 150 fish species, over 70 mussel species, and 43 of those species are only found in the Green River, no where else in the United States,” said Babey.

Many Green River species thrive in moving water and will benefit from dam removal.

These include many aquatic insects that serve as food for bats, including three bat species that are endangered or threatened.

The removal will also allow a safer river for kayakers and canoers to enjoy.

Canoers and kayakers on the Green River in Mammoth Cave National Park would now be able to safely paddle past Brownsville, with no in-stream barriers between Mammoth Cave and the Rochester Dam.

This removal project utilizes federal funds through the Department of the Interior’s National Fish Passage Program.

The removal has already begun and is set to be completed by the end of August pending no weather delays.