Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Chesapeake, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

What is a Lock?

The Waterways

 
 
What is a Lock? Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, October 28, 2011
1. What is a Lock? Marker
Inscription. Why doe the Canal Need 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
Great Bridge Lock Markers image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, October 28, 2011
2. Great Bridge Lock Markers
To the right (west) is the the salty water river end of the lock, leading to Norfolk and the Chesapeake Bay via the Southern Branch of the Elizabeth River.
Network.
 
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 . . .
1. Great Bridge Lock Park - Chesapeake, VA. Chesapeake Bay Gateways and Watertrails Network (Submitted on October 30, 2011, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.) 

2. Great Bridge Lock Park. City of Chesapeake (Submitted on October 30, 2011, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.) 
 
Categories. EnvironmentWaterways & Vessels
 
Great Bridge Lock Markers image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, October 28, 2011
3. Great Bridge Lock Markers
To the left (east) is the the fresh water canal end, leading to North Carolina and the Currituck Sound via the Albemarle & Chesapeake Canal.
Albemarle & Chesapeake Canal Observation Platform image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, October 28, 2011
4. Albemarle & Chesapeake Canal Observation Platform
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on October 30, 2011, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 517 times since then and 36 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on October 30, 2011, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.
Paid Advertisement