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Temporary Closures Underway at Three Illinois Waterway Locks

June 6, 2023   MarineLog


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The USACE Rock Island Engineer District says that from June 1-Sept. 30, 2023, Brandon Road, Dresden Island and Marseilles locks on the Illinois waterway will be closed to navigation for critical repairs and maintenance.

The Illinois Waterway system consists of 336 miles (541 km) of navigable water from the mouth of the Calumet River at Chicago to the mouth of the Illinois River at Grafton, Illinois. Based primarily on the Illinois River, it is a system of rivers, lakes, and canals that provide a shipping connection from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico via the Illinois and Mississippi rivers.

It includes eight lock and dam sites that are long overdue for significant repairs. 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 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. Work was successfully completed in 2020 and the 2023 closures have begun.

All lock and dam facilities on the Illinois Waterway have a single lock chamber for passing vessels. During the scheduled closures, no vessels will be able to pass through the affected locks. Navigation on the rest of the river, between the locks, will not be impacted by the closures. Recreational and commercial vessels will be able to navigate within the pools without restriction.