The Sewell Lock and Broward County’s Canal System

Sewell LockThe Sewell Lock is one of those sights seen by thousands of drivers along I-595 on a daily basis but mostly goes unnoticed.  It is located on the N. New River Canal near the intersection of Davie Road and S.R. 84 and is part of the canal system run by the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD).  The Sewell Lock was completed in 1912 and is Broward County’s oldest water control structure. 

waterBroward County’s canal system is all about water management via a complex network of canals and operational infrastructure managed for both drainage and recharge purposes.  Curious?  Learn more about how the water flow system works.  Water management in Broward County is so important that a free half-day “Know the Flow” course has been developed to help Broward County property managers, landscape service providers, as well as Broward County homeowner associations and residents understand what they can do to manage and conserve water resources.

If you happen to be in the area and would like an up-and-close view, there is a small park located immediately next to the Sewell Lock where you can occassionally find people fishing.  There is a plaque at the park that reads:


These gates were restored by the South Florida Water Management District in 1992 as part of the G-54 Sewell Water Control structure replacement project.  The lock has been preserved as a historical site in cooperation with the Broward County Commission, the Broward County Park and Recreation Division, the Broward County Historical Commission and the Green Team.

8 Responses to “The Sewell Lock and Broward County’s Canal System”

  1. Robert Beach Says:

    These gates were never restored by the South Florida Water Management District in 1992. The west set of Gates had been partialy restored, but the East set of Gates along with all the working mechanics for both sets along with the controls have never been brought back to the site. The Gate Keepers House was removed along with the Ramps, Docks and the out buildings that serviced the Barge and Boat Crews. The lock is a historical site ( 1978 ), but it has never been preserved or the Park constructed as stated in the 1984 contract between The Broward County Commission, the Broward County Park and Recreation Division, the Broward County Historical Commission and The State of Florida.
    Also , Your picture is of a S.F.W.M.D. water control structure, Not the Sewell Lock.

  2. Leanne Paynter Says:

    So, you’re saying that what’s written on the plaque is false? If all that you wrote is fact, then the county is misleading the public and anyone visiting the small park site likely believes the same as I did.

    As for the docks that were removed, I could see what appeared to be some of the remains, though I did not include that photo in my post.

    Thanks for commenting.

  3. Robert Beach Says:

    If you would like more Information about The Sewell Lock Boating Park ,You should contact The State of Florida Historical Commission (not Broward County) and / or The Plantation Waterfront Owners Assoc., Inc. (, or you could write them: 1360 S.W.56 Avenue Plantation Isles, Plantation, Florida 33317
    Broward County has little or no Interest in the Historical Park site restoration at this time.

  4. Dave Says:

    I used to fish at the old site in the 70’s. The gatekeepers house and old gates were still there at the time. The gatekeeper would actually remove planks of wood to control the flow. Alot of fish was caught in the summer months after heavy rains on the North side of the gates. A gated community blocks access to the North side now. The lock was not functional or restored then and remains today as it did then. The new gate is automated now and fishing has never been the same.

  5. Carmen Says:

    My grandfather is the Sewell the lock is named after, Im a third generation Floridian, my family grew up with the Indians here. It saddens me that the locks, which i have heard many many stories about is lacking to the “Historians” here??
    My mother talks about swimming around there while her father was working.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: