A lock is a mechanism for raising and lowering ships and boats between water stretches of varying levels on canal and river waterways. The characteristic feature of a lock is a permanent chamber in which the water height can be varied; whereas in a canal inclined plane, a boat lift, or on a caisson lock, it is the chamber itself that rises and falls. Locks make rivers easily navigable and allow canals to have a direct link across a land that is not level.
It is the responsibility of engineers to attend to the project’s prospective problems and proposed solutions to counter the challenges. Decisions on how to handle the mountain range that is positioned on the proposed route of the canal and whether it should be at the sea level or constructed as locks posses a big challenge that engineers ought to answer. It is because this factor determines dirt removal options, deposit locations, the handling of the river Chargres and the man power that the project requires.
Building a lock system that goes over the mountain together with its movable parts is the best and most financially economical approach of constructing the canal. In addition, we will conserve the environment in terms of where to place the dirt excavated if it were to be built at the sea level. The dirt excavated were to be deposited in an area where they might cause environmental hazards example are mud flows, which will cause siltation in the constructed dam resulting increasing costs of canal maintenance. It is also impossible to obtain a free land where the natives are willing to allow dirt damping (Shetpa, 1982).
Lock system will also help in avoiding dirt being returned to the canal during the rainy season as it will be the case if it is dug through the mountain or if the mountain is removed. It will also save on the labor required to transport the dirt to a far distance that will reduce a chance of it being driven back to the tunnel during the rainy season.
Although using locks also requires removal of dirt, the amount of dirt is negligibly small such that disposing it or the possibility of being swept back during the rainy season is not a big issue. However, the lock’s movable parts needs constant maintenance and can cause delays in the travailing system in the periods of their draining and filling. In addition, the constant maintenance, though they provide employment opportunities, increases the cost of maintaining the canal through payment of extra workers and logistics.
Lock systems ensure timely project completion within the proposed budgets. Taking this option will be the most efficient due to its cost and time effectiveness. We will use less money and be able to complete it within a short period hence, meeting our budget and deadlines.
This is because, as compared to building it at sea level, we will not require the removal of dirt process in the project work plan. The lock system has less waste that requires to be relocated hence saving the time to be consumed on dirt removal. This goes further to stabilize the salvage value of the equipment that was used the project because the longer the project takes to complete the lower their salvage value will be.
Although locks require regular maintenance due to their moving parts, this will not be a big problem, compared to the cost of drilling through the mountain and expense incurred in paying the workers, because it will be a source of employment. Lock system is also operated by individuals and is another chance for employment to many people (Darves-Bornoz and Hawkins, 1979). Using locks that run over the mountain is, therefore, the best way to construct this canal