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Posted 4/27/2017

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Project Manager

Brandon Road Lock and Dam, Joliet, Illinois, Des Plaines River

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is evaluating potential control options and technologies at Brandon Road Lock and Dam to prevent the upstream Interbasin transfer of aquatic nuisance species (ANS) while minimizing impacts to Illinois Waterway uses and users. This effort will identify a recommended plan. Implementation of a recommended plan would require congressional authorization.


The initial study to develop a range of options and technologies to prevent the spread of ANS, the Great Lakes and Mississippi River Interbasin Study (GLMRIS), was completed in January 2014. The completed GLMRIS Report presented eight alternatives to control the transfer of a variety of ANS, each with a general location, conceptual design elements, estimated implementation time, and cost information, with a total estimated implementation cost ranging from $7.8 billion to $18.3 billion (FY14 dollars).

The Brandon Road control point was identified in the GLMRIS Report as the single location that can address upstream transfer of Mississippi River species through all Chicago Area Waterway System pathways. Implementation of technologies at the Brandon Road control point was a feature of three of the six structural alternatives presented in the GLMRIS Report.

In May 2014, the Assistant Secretary of Army for Civil Works [ASA (CW)] requested the Corps conduct an evaluation of additional study efforts that could be pursued based on the findings of the GLMRIS Report and in response to stakeholder input. In August 2014, the Corps submitted a Decision Memorandum to the ASA (CW) requesting permission to proceed with a formal evaluation of potential control technologies near the Brandon Road Lock and Dam. On September 29, 2014, the ASA (CW) directed the Corps to proceed with the planning efforts as outlined in the August 2014 Decision Memorandum.

The Brandon Road Study was initiated in September 2014. Public Scoping Meetings were held, and a public comment period was completed in January 2015. A waiver request to exceed a study cost limit of $3M and schedule of three years was approved on April 6, 2015. The estimated cost of the Brandon Road Study is $8.6 million, not including the study scoping and coordination prior to April 6, 2015.

The Draft Brandon Road Study Report that includes the Tentatively Selected Plan (TSP) was released for public review on August 7, 2017. The array of alternatives included in the Draft Report are shown in the table below. The TSP (Technology Alternative Complex Noise with Electric Barrier) was selected because it meets the project objective by reducing the risk of Mississippi River Basin aquatic nuisance species establishment in the Great Lakes Basin to the maximum extent possible, and it provides for continued navigation and minimizes impacts to other waterway users and uses.


No Action - Sustained Current Activities

Nonstructural Alternative - Monitoring, public outreach, education and increased removal and monitoring and response

Technology Alternative–Electric Barrier - Nonstructural measures, engineered channel, electric barrier, flushing lock, fish entrainment mitigation, water jets and mooring area

Technology Alternative–Complex Noise - Nonstructural measures, engineered channel, complex noise, flushing lock, fish entrainment mitigation, water jets

Technology Alternative–Electric Barrier with Complex Noise - Nonstructural measures, engineered channel, electric barrier, complex noise, flushing lock, fish entrainment mitigation, water jets and mooring area

Lock Closure - Concrete closure

The Great Lakes and Mississippi River Interbasin Study-Brandon Road Draft Integrated Feasibility Study and Environmental Impact Statement – Will County, Illinois (GLMRIS-Brandon Road Report) was released Aug. 7, 2017. The final study report (Chief's Report) is estimated to be completed by August 2019.

Additional Information
Completed Activities
ASA(CW) approval guidance - 9/29/14
DCG-CEO Approval of 3x3x3 Exemption - 4/6/15
Alternatives Milestone - 6/15/15
Tentatively Selected Plan Milestone - 12/7/16
Release Draft Report for Public Review - 8/7/17

Scheduled Activities
Agency Decision Milestone - Feb. 2018
Civil Works Review Board Milestone - Jan. 2019
Chief’s Report Milestone - Aug. 2019

Section 3061(d) of the WRDA 2007, PL 110-114, as amended by Section 1538 of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act, PL 112-141

Summarized Project Costs

Estimated Federal Cost  $179,000,000 
Estimated Non-Federal Cost  $96,400,000 
Estimated Total Project Cost  $275,400,000 
Allocations Prior to Current FY 2017 Cost  $4,286,000 
Current FY 2017 Allocation (received to date)  $2,300,000 
Current FY 2017 Total Capability  N/A

Major Work Item Current Year
FY 2017:
Funds are being used to select a Tentatively Selected Plan, initiate public review, Agency Technical Review, Independent External Peer Review, and Planning and Policy Review.

Public Meetings

Sept. 11 - 1 to 5 p.m., at the James R Thompson Center, 100 W Randolph St., Chicago.

Sept. 14 - 3:30 to 6:30 p.m., at Muskegon Community College, Collegiate Hall, 221 S. Quarterline Road, Muskegon, Michigan.

Sept. 18 - 3:30 to 6:30 p.m., at Joliet Junior College, “U” Conference Center, 1215 Houbolt Road, Joliet, Illinois.

A public comment period is open until Nov. 16 and comments can be submitted online via the GLMRIS –Brandon Road website: