Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering

Degree Level



Industrial Engineering


Liao, Haitao

Committee Member/Reader

Zhang, Shengfan


Inland waterway travel has tremendous potential to improve multimodal transportation in the United States due to its environment-friendly and safe nature. Waterway travel has proven to be much cheaper per ton-mile and more fuel efficient than trucks. Millions of dollars have recently been invested in inland waterway networks to facilitate travel. The waterway infrastructure must be resilient to enable efficient waterway travel and prevent unnecessary delays. Locks, an important component of waterway infrastructure, enable vessels to travel between waterways of varying depths and must be maintained consistently to avoid unexpected failures. However, with limited resources, it is difficult to preserve all the locks in ideal condition all the time. The purpose of this study was to determine which locks on the McLellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System (MKARNS) should be prioritized when allocating maintenance resources. Two metrics were considered to create a ranking of relative lock importance to the entire system: proximity to nearest port for offloading purposes and barge throughput. Using an existing NetLogo agent-based simulation model and geographic data, these two metrics were calculated, analyzed, and combined to create one comprehensive ranking for the locks on MKARNS to signify each lock’s criticality to the entire system. Using this ranking, stakeholders should have a sense of which locks are the most critical to the functioning of the network to ensure that agencies using the navigable waterway system can deliver their products on time to consumers across the country.


waterway infrastructure, McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System (MKARNS)