US Army Corps of Engineers
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District Projects

GLMRIS Brandon Road

Published March 10, 2020

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

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has evaluated 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 has identified a recommended plan. Implementation of the recommended plan requires congressional authorization.

On September 29, 2014, the ASA(CW) directed the Corps to proceed with a formal evaluation of potential control technologies at Brandon Road Lock and Dam.  On 4 May 2018, the State of Illinois provided a letter of intent to serve as the non-federal sponsor and pledged to work in partnership with the other Great Lakes states, and other stakeholders. Illinois Governor Pritzker provided letters dated March 1, 2019 & April 26, 2019 expressing support for the recommended plan with desires to find ways to reduce and control costs.

The Chief’s Report recommending a National Ecosystem Restoration (NER) Plan was signed on 23 May 2019 and sent to Congress. The NER Plan is a federal risk management plan including a layered system of structural controls and non-structural measures. The NER plan includes managing the waterway below Brandon Road as a ‘population reduction zone’ where monitoring and overfishing would occur. Non-structural measures implemented primarily by other federal agencies including USFWS & USGS can begin upon appropriation. Non-structural measures include public education and outreach, nonstructural monitoring, integrated pest management, pesticides, manual or mechanical removal, research and development and two boat launches. The Corps structural plan includes a new control point at Brandon Road Lock and Dam in addition to the control point that is already provided by the electric dispersal barrier at Romeoville, Illinois. The new structural control point would include the Technology Alternative Acoustic Fish Deterrent with Electric Barrier, which includes, acoustic fish deterrent, bubble curtain, an engineered channel, an electric barrier, and flushing lock. 

This NER plan alternative 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 provides for continued navigation and minimization of impacts to other waterway users and uses. Total Estimated project cost of the NER Plan is $830,784,000 which is cost shared 65/35 and can be broken into phases.

Additional Information
The Corps is working with state of Illinois to execute a design agreement to initiate the Preconstruction Engineering and Design, (PED) phase. Cost sharing for PED and construction is 65%/35% fed and non-fed.  Illinois has expressed interest in seeking a cost share modification for construction in a WRDA authorization bill to reduce the sponsor cost share to something much less than 35%. PED could take two to four years to complete, subject to the 

availability of funds. Illinois is coordinating with Great Lake states and provinces to align regional interest in implementing a project. 

Construction is estimated to take 6 to 8 years to complete however the timeline for structural implementation will be further developed in the PED phase. Construction can begin when the following are complete: the project is authorized, a Project Partnership Agreement (PPA) is signed, design to award a contract is complete, construction funds are appropriated by the Government and non-federal sponsor, and real estate is acquired. OMRR&R is cost shared 80/20 Federal/Non-federal.

Completed Activities
ASA(CW) approval guidance - 9/29/2014 
DCG-CEO Approval of 3x3x3 Exemption - 4/6/2015 
Alternatives Milestone - 6/15/2015 
Tentatively Selected Plan Milestone - 12/7/2016 
Release Draft Report for Public Review - 8/7/2017
Completion of Public Review – 12/8/2017
Agency Decision Milestone – 4/5/2018
District Quality Control Review – 6/25/2018
Agency Technical Review of Draft Report – 7/18/2018
Senior Leaders Review Board Milestone – 10/12/ 2018
State & Agency Review Completed – 2/22/2019
Chief’s Report Milestone – 5/23/2019

Scheduled Activities
Design Agreement Execution – FY 20; pending approval and funding.

Congressional Interest
The Brandon Road Lock and Dam is located in IL-11 congressional district; however, the Brandon Road Study has congressional interest that includes the State of Illinois congressional delegation as well as all the congressional members from the Great Lakes states.

Senators: Dick Durbin (IL), Tammy Duckworth (IL), Debbie Stabenow (MI), Tammy Baldwin (WI)

Representatives: IL-3 (Dan Lipinski) and IL-11 (Bill Foster)

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 Non-Fed Cost $0 $10,095,750
Estimated Total Project Cost $8,286,000  $28,845,000
Allocation Prior to FY 2020  $8,286,000 $100,000
FY 2020 Allocation $0 $0
FY 2020 Total Capability $0 $3,800,000

*Assuming Non-Federal Sponsor cost shares 35% of total cost

Major Work Item Current Year
FY 2020: Execute Design Agreement, initiate PED including HTRW, geotechnical investigations, physical & numerical modeling.