Chesapeake, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
What is a Lock?
The Great Bridge Lock is unique, because it is a guard lock—it guards water quality. Fresh water flows into the lock on your left from Currituck Sound in North Carolina. Salty water flows into the lock on your right from the Elizabeth River which connects to the Chesapeake Bay. When the two types of water mix, plants and animals are in danger. In 1915, it was decided to leave the lock open. By 1930, the mixing of the waters adversely impacted wildlife in the Currituck Sound, harming the natural ecology. A new lock was completed in 1932 and remains in operation today.
Another unique feature is the two sets of gates at each end, making this a reversible head lock. Locks are used to raise and lower water levels. Depending on the water levels on each side, the lock operators can open or close four sets of gates and valves in different combinations to direct the water in the lock.
As many as 20 boats can fit in this lock!
You are facing south, looking at the lock. On your left is the Great Bridge bridge and the Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal. You can see gates A and B. On your right is the Southern Branch of the Elizabeth River. Gates C and D are just out of sight.
Erected by Chesapeake Bay Gateways
Location. 36° 43.418′ N, 76° 14.812′ W. Marker is in Chesapeake, Virginia. Marker can be reached from Locks Road 0.6 miles west of North Battlefield Boulevard (Virginia Route 168), on the left when traveling west. Touch for map. Located in Great Bridge Lock Park. Marker is in this post office area: Chesapeake VA 23320, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Why Build a Canal Here? (here, next to this marker); The Iron Titans Tame the Marsh? (here, next to this marker); Liquid Highways (here, next to this marker); Bridging the Past with the Present (within shouting distance of this marker); The Battle of Great Bridge (within shouting distance of this marker); Welcome (within shouting distance of this marker); Village of Great Bridge (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Under Two Flags (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Chesapeake.
Also see . . . Great Bridge Lock Park - Chesapeake, VA. Chesapeake Bay Gateways and Watertrails Network (Submitted on October 30, 2011, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.)
Categories. • Environment • Waterways & Vessels •
Credits. This page was last revised on January 15, 2019. This page originally submitted on October 30, 2011, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 552 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on October 30, 2011, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.