St. Johns-Indian River Barge Canal
The St. Johns-Indian River Barge Canal was a planned canal
Canals are man-made channels for water. There are two types of canal:#Waterways: navigable transportation canals used for carrying ships and boats shipping goods and conveying people, further subdivided into two kinds:...

 in the state of Florida
Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

, 35.2 miles (56.6 km) in length and linking the Intracoastal Waterway
Intracoastal Waterway
The Intracoastal Waterway is a 3,000-mile waterway along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of the United States. Some lengths consist of natural inlets, salt-water rivers, bays, and sounds; others are artificial canals...

 and the Indian River
Indian River (Florida)
The Indian River is a waterway in Florida, a part of the Indian River Lagoon system which forms the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway. It extends southward from the Ponce de Leon inlet in New Smyrna Beach, Florida [Volusia County] southward and across the "Haulover Canal" and along the western shore...

 5 miles (8 km) south of Oak Hill
Oak Hill, Florida
Oak Hill is a city in Volusia County, Florida, United States. The population was 1,378 at the 2000 census. As of 2004, the population recorded by the U.S. Census Bureau is 1,454.-History:...

 with the St. Johns River
St. Johns River
The St. Johns River is the longest river in the U.S. state of Florida and its most significant for commercial and recreational use. At long, it winds through or borders twelve counties, three of which are the state's largest. The drop in elevation from the headwaters to the mouth is less than ;...

, originally intended to be just south of Lake Harney
Lake Harney
Lake Harney, named for General William Selby Harney, is a lake located in Volusia and Seminole and Counties, Florida, and is part of the course of the St. Johns River....

, but later shifted to be near Lake Monroe
Lake Monroe
Lake Monroe may refer to one of the following lakes:*Lake Monroe in Florida, a lake on the St. Johns River*Lake Monroe in Monroe and Brown counties, Indiana*Lake Monroe in Monroe County, Mississippi...

, with all but three miles of the route within Volusia County. However, by 1968 the more southerly Lake Harney alignment had returned to favor and the canal was not built.

Originally proposed in the 1850s, then again in 1909 and in the late 1930s, the St. Johns-Indian River Canal Authority was established in 1960. The canal would have been 125 feet (38.1 m) wide and 8 feet (2.4 m) deep, with three high-level and one bascule
Bascule bridge
A bascule bridge is a moveable bridge with a counterweight that continuously balances the span, or "leaf," throughout the entire upward swing in providing clearance for boat traffic....

 highway bridges, two bascule railroad bridges, two locks measuring 56 feet (17.1 m) by 250 feet (76.2 m), two navigation dams 56 feet (17.1 m) wide, and a pumping station.

Combined with the Cross Florida Barge Canal
Cross Florida Barge Canal
The Cross Florida Barge Canal was a canal project to connect the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean across Florida for barge traffic. Two sections were built but the project was cancelled, mainly for environmental reasons. It is now a protected green belt corridor, one mile wide...

, the canal would have provided a shipping route across the Florida peninsula between the Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's oceanic divisions. With a total area of about , it covers approximately 20% of the Earth's surface and about 26% of its water surface area...

 and the Gulf of Mexico
Gulf of Mexico
The Gulf of Mexico is a partially landlocked ocean basin largely surrounded by the North American continent and the island of Cuba. It is bounded on the northeast, north and northwest by the Gulf Coast of the United States, on the southwest and south by Mexico, and on the southeast by Cuba. In...

; construction was planned to begin in 1968, with the canal to open in 1971, however construction never began as delays to the Cross Florida Barge Canal project mounted, with the projected groundbreaking
Groundbreaking, also known as cutting, sod-cutting, turning the first sod or a sod-turning ceremony, is a traditional ceremony in many cultures that celebrates the first day of construction for a building or other project. Such ceremonies are often attended by dignitaries such as politicians and...

 pushed back first to 1970, then further, with conservation issues dogging the project especially with regard to spawning shad
The shads or river herrings comprise the genus Alosa, fish related to herring in the family Clupeidae. They are distinct from others in that family by having a deeper body and spawning in rivers. The several species frequent different areas on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea....


After the suspension of work on the Cross Florida Barge Canal, the Canal Authority was dissolved in 1973.
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