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Posted 9/3/2010

Release no. 10-09-40


ROCK ISLAND, Ill. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Rock Island District, and the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRDGC), celebrate the beginning of construction with a ground breaking ceremony for the Lockport Stage II, Controlling Works project, Sept. 10 at 9:30 a.m.

The $7.2 million Controlling Works construction project is funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.  The project is scheduled to be completed by December 2011.

Media and the public are invited to attend the ceremony taking place at the MWRDGC Controlling Works.  Congresswoman Debbie Halvorson, U.S. Representative, Illinois 11th District; and Mr. Terrence J. O’Brien, President, MWRDGC, will help celebrate the groundbreaking.

The Controlling Works project replaces deteriorated brick and granite facing protecting the concrete structure.  Following eight years of planning and design, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Rock Island District, awarded the construction project to Howard W. Pence, Inc. of Elizabethtown, Ky.

The Controlling Works project is part of the larger Lockport Rehabilitation project that is also renovating the canal wall just upstream of the Lockport Power House.  The Controlling Works releases storm water from the Lockport Pool into the Des Plaines River during heavy rain events.

The Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, historically known as the Chicago Drainage Canal, is the only shipping link between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River system, by way of the Illinois and Des Plaines Rivers. The canal also carries Chicago's treated sewage into the Des Plaines River.  Before completion of the canal in 1900, the sewage of Chicago was discharged into Lake Michigan, the city's drinking water supply. The canal is part of the Chicago Wastewater System, operated by the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago. The system has been named a Civil Engineering Monument of the Millennium by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).

Controlling Works can be located by taking Highway 7 to West 9th Street and turning left on the access road to the Controlling Works.  For more information about the groundbreaking ceremony, please contact Allen Marshall, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Rock Island District, Corporate Communications office, at (309) 794-5204, Allen.A.Marshall@usace.army.mil.