Seneca, Ill., Barge Fleet Faces Opposition

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources closed public comments August 10 regarding a proposed 1.6mile-long barge terminal and fleet on the Illinois River.

Derek Egan and Illinois & Michigan Oil of Joliet (Ill.) are proposing to develop the barge terminal along the south bank of the Illinois River near Seneca.

The company wants to install mooring pins for barge fleeting and to dredge so that it can build 600 feet of steel sheet pile seawall along the area of 7700 W. Dupont Road. In addition to the mooring pins, the upper and lower fleet areas will be dredged to a depth of 10 feet.

The 20 concrete-filled steel mooring pins would be sited at 400-foot intervals, creating an upper section of 4,400 feet and a lower section of 2,800 feet, for a fleeting capacity of 106 barges, to be arranged in varying configurations.

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The barges would be fleeted/moored from Mile 255.7 downstream to Mile 254.1, or about 300 feet east of the Seneca Railroad drawbridge.

No fill or other construction activities will take place, according to the project application.

The company says a small portion of the fleet will encroach into the navigation channel.

Some local residents oppose the project and have filed requests for a public hearing from the Corps of Engineers. One homeowner told the local NBC affiliate the project would wreck local ecology “for decades” and would also increase river congestion and flood risk. The opponents have hired a law firm.