Illinois River lock and dam repairs to resume in July

The US Army Corps of Engineers will resume lock and dam repairs on the Illinois River next month.

Scott Sigman, transportation and infrastructure lead for the Illinois Soybean Association tells Brownfield he expects this year’s lock closures from July through October will have a similar effect as last year, causing a change to local market demand in the first couple of weeks.

“In the regions close enough to Chicago to meet some of the container market needs, we saw some growth and potential for farmers to transition from moving towards the river to moving to the container markets for international export.”

Sigman says in the long run these repairs will increase efficiency.

“It really makes a difference to have a reliable set of lock chambers to be able to address customer needs and fit into the supply chain as we look to move as cost-effectively and competitively as possible.”

He says farmers and businesses have had ample notice of the closures to prepare where possible. For example, Sigman says fertilizer and chemical distributors have prepositioned volumes in preparation to serve customers this fall.  

Scheduled lock and dam closures include:

  • LaGrange: full closure July1 – September 30
  • Peoria: full closure July 6 – September 30
  • Starved Rock: full closure July 1 – October 29
  • Marseilles: full closure July 6 – October 29
  • Dresden Island: daytime closure July 1-2, partial closure July6 – October 3 and October 25 – 28, full closure October 4-24
  • Brandon Road: repairs have been postponed to 2023

After 2020 repairs, the locks and dams will be opened to allow for normal transportation for a couple of years before repairs resume in 2023.

Closures are subject to change based on weather and repair progress.

Interview with Scott Sigman

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