Flood Control and Canals
The Ohio is prone to spring flooding, and extensive flood control and protection devices have been constructed along the river and its tributaries. These devices also improve the river's navigability; a 9-ft (2.7-m) channel is maintained along its entire length. A system of modern locks and dams, constructed since 1955 to replace older structures, speeds the transit of barges and leisure craft. A canal (first opened in 1830) at Louisville bypasses the Falls of the Ohio, a 21/4-mi (3.6-km)-long series of rapids having a 24-ft (7-m) drop.
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