The Ohio River Lock and Dams are manned by Federal Employees and funded by Taxes. If they fail to operate then the price of oil and chemicals will go up 500%.
Back in the early years of Government Managed Locks the government decided to get out of the lock business in Louisville Kentucky. They turned the lock over to industry and industry started to just lock their friends instead of everyone (cronyism), so the government took the lock business back and made it equal for all of us to use.
The towboat industry pays a fuel tax to pay for the maintenance of the locks and nine foot pools (water depth from lock to lock).
If you notice in the photo above the barge is pushing 12 barges of Chemicals (that is 12 X 27,500 bbl).
An average towboat pushes 15 barges of dry cargo ( that is 15 X 1,750 tons of cargo ( 26,250 tons of cargo)).
At the Smithland Locks we could lock one 15 barge towboat every hour.
You can see that maintaining a Federally funded Transportation System is very economical.