US Army Corps of Engineers
Rock Island District

District Projects

GLMRIS Brandon Road

Published March 8, 2019

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.


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. 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 Recommended Plan is the Technology Alternative Acoustic Fish Deterrent with Electric Barrier, which includes the following measures: nonstructural measures, acoustic fish deterrent, bubble curtain, an engineered channel, an electric barrier, a flushing lock, and boat launches.  This 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 it provides for continued navigation and minimizes impacts to other waterway users and uses.

State & Agency Review for the Draft Chief’s Report began on 23 NOV 2018 and was extended 60 days to 22 FEB 2019.  The Chief’s report is currently scheduled to be complete in April 2019.  The State of Illinois, the potential sponsor, has serious reservations regarding the Recommended Plan and seeks modifications to reduce cost significantly, eliminate the electric barrier, pursue locally preferred plan and include a $100M plan for mitigation in the Des Plaines River. The State of Illinois supports initiating PED on Risk Reduction Increment I, which includes an (e.g. acoustic deterrent and air bubble curtain) and the flushing lock.  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the States of Michigan & Ohio, and the Great Lakes Commission fully support implementation of the recommended plan as soon as possible. 

Additional Information

The current estimated project cost of $832M is significantly higher than the $275M estimate included in the draft feasibility report.  Final feasibility level analysis including an engineering charrette, and completion of a Cost Schedule Risk Analysis identified key areas of focus leading to revised estimates in quantities, types of materials, construction methods and contingency which resulted in the higher cost.   

Utilizing risk informed decision making the Corps has deferred engineering analysis to the Preconstruction Engineering & Design phase in order to expedite completion of the Chief’s Report.  

Preconstruction Engineering and Design, (PED) can begin when the following are complete: Chief’s Report recommending construction is submitted, Design Agreement, (DA) with the sponsor is signed, Federal and non-Federal funds are received.  Preconstruction Engineering and Design (PED) could take two to four years to complete.  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. 

Construction is expected to take 6 to 8 years to complete.  Non-structural measures can begin upon appropriation.  Timeline for structural implementation will be further developed in the PED phase. 

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 – Fall 2018 (began 23 Nov 2018, ended 22 Feb 2019)

Scheduled Activities:

  • Chief’s Report Milestone - Apr. 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

Allocations Prior to FY 2019 $8,136,000
Current FY 2019 Allocation  $150,000 
Current FY 2019 Total Capability  $150,000


Major Work Item Current Year
FY 2019:
Release the Final Feasibility Report and draft Chief’s Report for State & Agency review, complete the Chief’s Report.