Illinois River locks reopen for barge traffic

More repairs are scheduled for 2023 along the waterway

(WASHINGTON) — All locks on the Illinois Waterway are open to navigation after extended closures this year for significant repairs, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced last week.

The Illinois Waterway, which provides a navigable connection between Lake Michigan and the Mississippi River, includes eight lock and dam sites. In order to facilitate repairs, the Corps of Engineers’ Rock Island District developed a consolidated repair schedule, which included a short closure to locks in 2019 followed by two extended closures in 2020 and 2023. The closures were scheduled to take place simultaneously to lessen impact to commercial navigation as much as possible.

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Projects and dates are listed below:

2020

LaGrange Lock and Dam – Opened to navigation Oct. 13. Intermittent delays may occur.

Peoria Lock and Dam – Opened to navigation Sept. 30. Future eight-hour closures may be needed.

Starved Rock Lock and Dam – Opened to navigation Oct. 29.

Marseilles Lock and Dam – Opened to navigation Oct. 29.

Dresden Island Lock and Dam – Opened to navigation Oct. 29.

Two 12-hour closures are anticipated at the Lockport Lock the week of Nov. 30 (most likely 11/30 and 12/01). These closures are needed for the Rock Island District to provide repair and maintenance support to the Chicago District facility. Additional 10- to 12-hour closures are also anticipated for late December 2020/Jan. 2021, but these dates and times have not yet been set.

2023

Dresden Island Lock and Dam – Upper miter gate installation and electrical rehab. Full closure scheduled summer 2023, approximately 90-120 days.

Marseilles Lock and Dam – Electrical rehab. Full closure scheduled summer 2023, approximately 90-120 days.

Starved Rock Lock and Dam – Sector gear rehab. Full closure scheduled summer 2023, approximately 90-120 days.

Brandon Road Lock and Dam – Upper bulkhead recess installation and upper miter gate installation. Potential to include work at this site if construction projects were approved and funded as part of the Great Lakes Mississippi River Interbasin Study at Brandon Road (GLMRIS-BR).

– U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

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