Locks and Dams

Significant Delays On Illinois River As Closure Looms

Next year, simultaneous lock and dam closures for major repairs on several locks will close much of the Illinois River.

But right now, in a foretaste of those disruptions, barge tows are experiencing significant delays of between eight and 19 days at Marseilles and Starved Rock locks, according to American Currents, a river conditions newsletter produced by American Commercial Barge Line.

Both locks are open only limited hours as they undertake repairs to their bulkheads in preparation for next summer’s closures.

The Corps has scheduled an unrestricted lockage period from 6 p.m. September 12 through 6 a.m. September 21, before a full closure of both locks that will last from September 21 through October 5.

Marseilles has only been locking at night for three months as crews repair bulkhead slots during the day. A Corps official at Marseilles told The Waterways Journal there were 13 southbound tows and 10 northbound tows waiting to transit at press time.

The newsletter said a round trip between St. Louis and Chicago that normally takes about 10 days is now taking anywhere between 27 and 30 days.