Chickamauga Dam, the sixth completed by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), offers a range of benefits including hydropower, flood control, and recreational benefits. Its construction was a remarkable feat of engineering, accomplished with a level of speed and efficiency that is not often seen in today's complex commercial and political landscape.
“The TVA turned its first spade of dirt on the Chickamauga Dam”
'The gates of the Chickamauga Dam were lowered to begin the gradual filling of Chickamauga Lake.'
"After extensive surveying, the tip of Chickamauga Island was chosen for the dam, which was authorized December 31, 1935. Construction began just two weeks later, and four years later almost to the day, the project was completed."
TVA raised concerns about the deteriorating conditions of aging locks over 30 years ago, citing the expansion of concrete (alkali aggregate reaction or AAR) as a threat to the structural integrity of the locks.
Construction of a replacement 110-foot by 600-foot navigation lock at Chickamauga began in 2004, following the approval of initial funding in 2003. The project included both the design and construction of the new lock.
Funding for repairs and replacements is divided between the Inland Waterways Trust Fund and Federal Funds, which are approved on a yearly basis by Congress. However, this has resulted in regular budget conflicts and prolonged delays across multiple administrations.
Current estimates put the completion in mid-2027*, and exceeding $858 Million.