The 3 locks and dams are the major features of a Corps of Engineers project, entitled, "Cape Fear River, North Carolina above Wilmington." The project provides for an authorized depth of 8 feet at low water from Navassa to Fayetteville, a river distance of 111 miles. However, during the spring and summer, the channel may be slightly lower. The project also provides for a dredged channel 25 feet deep from Wilmington to Navassa.
Lock and Dam 1 was originally constructed in 1915 and modified in 1934 to increase the lift by three feet to a total of eleven feet. The lock is 40 feet by 200 feet.
Lock and Dam 2 was constructed in 1917 at what was once known as Browns Landing. The lock is 40 feet by 200 feet. Under normal operation, the upper pool is at elevation +23 (bhd) feet and the lower pool is at elevation +14 (bhd) feet.
William O. Huske lock and dam was constructed in 1935. The lock chamber is 40 feet by 300 feet with a total lift of 9 feet. The lower pool is at elevation +23 (bhd) feet and the upper pool is maintained at elevation +32 (bhd) feet.