Fort Sill Community
Corps Of Engineers On Track For Illinois Waterway Lock Closures
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers continues to plan for a temporary closure of locks on the Illinois Waterway (IWW) in the year 2020 to perform critical maintenance.
Contracts have been awarded to install bulkhead slots at Marseilles and Starved Rock locks during the summer of 2019. This work will require width restrictions for several weeks, followed by a full lock closure for approximately two weeks to install the sill beam across the bottom of the lock chambers. Since the locks have only one chamber, adjacent to each dam, a full lock closure means river traffic will have no way of navigating around the dam until the lock chamber reopens.
A two-week closure will halt traffic within these areas. The Corps will be providing closure information in advance in hopes that it will give optimal time to plan ahead so that there will be minimal impact on navigation and the local and regional economy.
Closures, up to 120 days, are scheduled to begin July 1, 2020, as long as the river levels cooperate. The driving factor in the extended closures is the LaGrange Lock Major Rehabilitation project, which received funding in 2018.
Rock Island District awarded a $117 million contract to AECOM for the LaGrange project last fall. Currently, the contractor is on track to mobilize to the site and do preliminary work this summer. No impacts to navigation are expected during their preliminary work. Items such as miter gate machinery, that take longer to fabricate, are already in the works and are scheduled for delivery in time for the extended 2020 closures.
New miter gate fabrication contracts for Marseilles and Starved Rock locks are also on track and are scheduled for installation during the extended closure in summer 2020. The lock chambers at Marseilles and Starved Rock will be dewatered during the closure and will undergo significant sill and anchorage modification to ensure the new miter gates fit properly. While the IWW is closed, contractors will also install bulkhead slots at Dresden Island and Brandon Road locks, and Peoria Lock will be dewatered for routine inspections and minor repairs.
At this time, the Rock Island District anticipates the navigation industry could need two or more years to fully recover from impacts caused by the closures. For this reason, the District will not schedule additional maintenance at Dresden Island or Brandon Road locks for a couple of years.
A shorter closure, which may extend ninety days or more, is scheduled for summer 2023 to give contractors time to perform anchorage and sill modifications so the new miter gates can be installed at the Dresden Island and Brandon Road locks.
The recent partial government shutdown has not impacted the IWW Consolidated Closures scheduled because the Corps of Engineers’ Civil Works program received funding in the 2019 Energy and Water appropriations bill passed Sept. 28, 2018. The Rock Island District continues to strive to complete these critical repair projects in the safest and most efficient manner with the least amount of impact to the navigation industry so they may continue delivering value to our national economy.
Projected Closure Schedule:
Starved Rock & Marseilles Lock and Dam Bulkhead Recess Installation
Partial Closure scheduled June 1 through July 3 and July 8 through Aug. 16
– Locks operational from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. with a 70-ft width restriction and no ability to
Pull unpowered barges.
Full Closure scheduled Aug. 16 through Aug.30
LaGrange Lock and Dam Major Rehabilitation & Lock Machinery Replacement
Full closure scheduled July 1 through Sept. 30
Peoria Lock and Dam Dewatering for Maintenance and Inspection
Full closure scheduled to start mid July through early August for 60 days (Specific dates to be determined)
Starved Rock Lock and Dam Upper & Lower Miter Gate Installation
Full closure scheduled July 1-Oct.30
Marseilles Lock and Dam Upper Miter Gate Installation
Full closure scheduled July 1-Sept. 30 Dresden
Island & Brandon Road Lock and Dam Upper Bulkhead Recess Installation
90 day restriction period with 14 day full closure (Specific dates to be determined, lock restrictions same as in 2019)
Dresden Island & Brandon Road Lock and Dam Upper Miter Gate Installation
Full closure scheduled July 1-Sept 30
If construction projects were approved and funded as part of the Great Lakes Mississippi
River Interbasin Study at Brandon Road (GLMRIS-BR), it is possible they could be completed during this closure.
**NOTE: Projects and dates listed on this schedule are subject to change due to river levels and project funding.**