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US Army Corps upgrades locks and dams

Three US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) projects on the Illinois, Ohio, and New rivers are now progressing.

A major lock extension feasibility study for the Greenup lock and dam will take place in the USACE Huntington district. Construction could cost more than US$150M over the two to three-year construction phase. The extension is required due to increased barge traffic which is now approaching the Greenup lock’s capacity. The work will involve a new technique of applying offshore in-the-wet construction methods to inland waterways.

US Company black-veatch is providing design plans and specifications to strengthen the Bluestone dam on the New river, which will be raised to protect it from probable maximum flood conditions caused by excessive snow melt and rainfall. Phase 1 will include mass concrete thrust blocks for the extended dam. The cost of the project will be US$10M and will be completed within three years.

Finally, a Peoria lock and dam hydraulic system replacement is required in the Rock Island District of USACE, due to extreme winter temperatures which have been causing traffic problems. The project includes design plans and specifications for converting the system to a directly connected hydraulic cylinder setup. It is hoped that this new approach will cut maintenance needs and costs and allow improved cold weather operations. The project will cost approximately US$3.5M and will take three years to complete.