Illinois River locks set to close for construction in June

Photo Credit: Illinois Soybean Association

Four lock and dam systems on the Illinois River are scheduled to close for repairs from June through September.

Tom Torretti with Consolidated Grain and Barge Company tells brownfield although the industry has known about the repairs for two years, it will still create challenges.

“When these locks and dams are closed, if you need product to go north of there you will have to offload it below the lock closures and truck it which will be an additional expense.”

He says shippers can prepare for closures, but the biggest bottlenecks will likely come when the locks reopen in the fall, since that is a busy time for transporting grain and fertilizer.

“September 30th is when the locks will open. It will be a mad dash and it will be a cluster.”

He says the main chambers at the Alton and Granite City locations are currently closed for repairs through March. Vessels are allowed to travel through the auxiliary locks, but Torretti says that takes longer, citing up to 46-hour delays this/last week.

“So, for the spring fertilizer season, I’m not going to say it will hamper things but there will be delays.”

Lock and dam systems on the Illinois River are nearly 100 years old and the Brandon Road, Dresden Island, Marseilles, and Starved Rock locations will be receiving much needed updates, from new miter gates to electrical systems. Similar closures and repairs were done at five locations in 2020 and were completed on-time.

Brownfield interviewed Torretti during the Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Association Convention in Peoria.

Add Comment

Your email address will not be published.


Stay Up to Date

Subscribe for our newsletter today and receive relevant news straight to your inbox!

Brownfield Ag News