US Army Corps of Engineers
Rock Island District

District Projects

Illinois Waterway

Published March 8, 2019

Illinois Waterway Operations Manager
(309)676-4601 x 4104

Entire Illinois Waterway

The project includes a total of 268 river miles of 9-foot commercial navigation channel from Chicago to LaGrange Lock and Dam, near Beardstown, Illinois; with 8 locks and 7 dams. The navigable portions of this river and the locks and dams that allow waterway traffic to move from one pool to another are integral parts of a regional, national and international transportation network. 

The system is significant for certain key exports and the Nation's balance of trade. More than 580 manufacturing facilities, terminals and docks ship and receive goods on the Upper Mississippi River Basin, which includes the Illinois Waterway. Annually, the regional project generates an estimated $3 billion of transportation cost savings compared to overland methods. Recreation facilities include a Visitor Center at Starved Rock Lock and Dam. Regional economic impacts are $4,773,000 from approximately 167,000 visits.

Project in operation.

OM - Operations and Maintenance

Summarized Project Costs

Estimated Federal Cost  N/A 
Estimated Non-Federal Cost  N/A 
Estimated Total Project Cost  N/A 
Allocations Prior to FY 2019 N/A 
FY 2019 Allocation  $72,979,930
FY 2019 Total Capability  $72,979,930

Major Work Item Current Year
FY 2019: Budgeted funds will be used for operation and maintenance of eight lock and dam sites and the project office, critical fleet maintenance support service, dredging, water control, dredged material disposal, dam safety, and real estate management. Funds will also be used for the operation and maintenance of the Starved Rock Visitor Center, supporting management of the recreation program and public visitation by providing safe recreation facilities and visitor assistance and protection. Funds will also be used for stewardship activities to protect the health, sustainability and integrity of the public lands associated with the project. These activities include natural resource management practices, environmental evaluation and reviews, shoreline protection, cultural resource investigations, and water quality control. Non routine items include major maintenance being performed at LaGrange, Marseilles and Starved Rock L/Ds as part of the 2020 consolidated closures.  Additional non routine work also includes awarding contracts to Repair Dresden Island L/D Guide Wall, Nose Pier, Wall Armor and Fenders, and to Replace Dresden Island L/D Fill-Empty Culverts, Valve Anchorages and Sector Gears.  Formal Periodic Inspections will take place at Dresden Island, Starved Rock and Lockport L/Ds.  Emergency Action Plans will be updated and Dam Safety Exercises will be conducted at Lockport and Brandon Road L/Ds.  Bridge Inspections will be conducted at Brandon Road, Dresden, Marseilles and Starved Rock L/Ds.