Historical commission recognizes Mon River navigation
By Sheila Tunney
ELIZABETH, Pa. — A historical marker recognizing the Monongahela River Navigation System as one of the nation's most historically successful river systems was dedicated the Monongahela River at Locks and Dam 3 here, June 18, 2012.
The marker was procured through the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) by Bruce Kish, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District Environmental and Cultural Resources Branch, as part of the Lower Mon Project's cultural mitigation plan. The project, which began in the 1990s, upgraded the Braddock Locks and Dam downstream. Currently, it is in the process of improving Lock and Dam 4, Charleroi, upstream.
The third phase of the project will eliminate the 105-year-old Elizabeth locks, located midway between the two other locks. This was taken into consideration in the decision to place the marker, which highlights the economic benefits of the Mon's navigability to the region since 1838.
Millions of tons of coal and coke transported to industries along the river provided the raw material that fueled the nation's industrial revolution. There are six other locks and dams on the river, which runs from Fairmont, W.Va., to Pittsburgh.
The ceremony included remarks from Elizabeth Mayor David Householder, master of ceremonies, Pittsburgh District Engineer Col. William Graham, state and federal elected officials' staff, and PHMC Chairman Andrew Masich.