Corps reopens Illinois Waterway to navigation

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Rock Island District, announced Thursday that construction is complete and the Illinois Waterway locks have reopened to navigation after a series of extended, consolidated closures.

With construction coming to an end at Dresden Island, Starved Rock and Marseilles locks, the Illinois Waterway lock and dam system is open for navigation. Five locks on the Illinois Waterway had been closed since early July in order to perform critical maintenance. Peoria Lock was the first to reopen on Sept. 28 followed by LaGrange Lock on Oct.13.

The Illinois Waterway, which provides a navigable connection between Lake Michigan and the Mississippi River, includes eight lock and dam sites which were long overdue for significant repairs. In order to facilitate repairs, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Rock Island District developed a consolidated repair schedule, which included a short closure to locks in 2019 followed by extended closures this summer that came to an end Thursday. The closures took place simultaneously to lessen the impact to commercial navigation as much as possible.

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