Thursday, 13 Jun 2024
Tennessee - Tombigbee waterway (USA)

Tennessee - Tombigbee waterway

The United States is served by an extensive inland waterway system unparalleled in the World. Completed in December 1984 after 12 years of construction at a cost of nearly $2 billion, the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway is one of the most modern components of this world class transportation network. It provides a low cost and energy efficient trade link between the Sunbelt states and 14 river systems totaling some 4500 miles of navigable waterways that serve mid-America.

Waterways are engines for economic growth resulting in higher standards of living and improved quality of life. These federal projects will continue to generate these kinds of benefits for future generations to come as long as they are adequately maintained.

The Tenn-Tom not only has stimulated economic development but it has helped improve the quality of life in the waterway corridor. The waterway traverses or serves a region, rich in history, that has diverse and abundant cultural and natural resources; a variety of recreation attractions, ranging from fishing, boating, camping, to bird watching; and, other amenities.

The 234 - mile waterway begins at its northern end at Pickwick Lake on the Tennessee River, flows through northeast Mississippi and west Alabama, and connects with the established Warrior-Tombigbee navigation system at Demopolis, Alabama. From there, commerce travels northward as far as Port Birmingham, Alabama or south to Mobile, Alabama, and other destinations along the Gulf coast.

Commercial traffic has steadily grown each year since the waterway opened in 1985. About 8 million tons are shipped each year. 

Mapa vodních cest USA s detailem průplavu Tennessee-Tombigbee 

Source: Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway Development Authority

The main features of Tenn-Tom are 10 locks and dams and a 29-mile man-made canal, one of the largest earth moving projects in history. The 10 locks raise or lower barges and boats a total of 341 feet, the difference in elevation between the two ends of the waterway. There are some 40 recreation areas that provide easy access to nearly 44,000 acres of water - related sports and other activities. In addition, marinas are located along the Tenn-Tom and connecting waterways to meet the needs of local as well as transient boaters.

Shippers and producers have access to a full range of public ports and terminals throughout the region served by the Tenn-Tom Waterway. Many of these facilities can also provide intermodal services, warehousing, bagging, and other special needs. 

Průplav Tennessee-Tombigbee 

A two-barge tow and tourist boats traveling through the 234-mile Tennessee - Tombigbee waterway. The lock system raises and lowers commerce a total of 341 feet. The Tenn-Tom can save waterborne commerce as much as 800 miles in distance traveled between Mid-America and deep water ports along the Eastern Gulf of Mexico.  Source: Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway Development Authority


More information about the project can be found here:

Official website of Tennessee - Tombigbee waterway

We informed about the Tennessee-Tombigbee waterway in the journal Waterways and inland navigation 1/1993 on pages 29-34.