In the News


May 9, 2023   Brownfield Ag News

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Three lock and dam systems on the Illinois River will close for upgrades beginning June 1st.

The Army Corps of Engineers will replace machinery, install upper miter gates and do electrical crossover work at the Brandon Road, Dresden Island and Marseilles locations, finishing out a three-part repair project that started in 2019.

Jim Tarmann with the Illinois Corn Growers Association says farmers have had ample time to prepare, and the impacts to agriculture should be minimal.  

“A lot of them have already moved their grain if they were planning on doing some sales and I’m fairly confident that the river terminals had been alerting those customers that had been hauling to the river that these much needed closures were coming up.”

Grain and Feed Association of Illinois Executive Vice President Jeff Adkisson says given the significant lead time, grain elevators along the river are also well prepared for the closures.

Todd Main with the Illinois Soybean Association says Illinois farmers will benefit from the repairs once completed.

“Basically, we put off repairs for a couple of decades and you can only get so far with Band-Aids and spit and duct tape. It was time to make some serious investments because that infrastructure needs to be there for future generations.”

The three groups say their only concern is if the repairs are not completed on time and disrupt the movement of grain in the fall, but based on the timely completion of previous projects they are hopeful the Army Corps of Engineers will stay on schedule for the locks to re-open on September 30th.

The corps was originally scheduled to complete miter gate machinery replacement at the Marseilles and Starved Rock locations during this closure, but those specific projects have been postponed.