US Army Corps of Engineers
Rock Island District

District Projects

Tonica Cemetery, Tonica, IL - CAP Section 14

Published June 13, 2019

Program Manager
(309) 794-5704


The Tonica Cemeteries is located along a portion of Bailey Creek in Tonica, LaSalle County, Illinois 


The Project area includes an approximately 800-foot stretch of Bailey Creek where it travels between two cemeteries.  

The infrastructure at risk in the project area includes the Brookside and Fairview Cemeteries, collectively referred to as the “Tonica Cemeteries.” The Tonica Cemeteries are at different elevations and on opposite banks of the creek, and they have been in use since the early 1800s. Current calculations estimate approximately 130 marked graves are at risk within 100 feet of erosion areas: 45 along the right descending bank of Bailey Creek and 85 along the left descending bank. However, in older cemeteries such as these, there is a strong likelihood of unmarked graves being in the erosion areas as well. As such, there could be multiple unmarked graves at risk within 100 feet of erosion areas. 

Federal action is required to reduce the potential for damages to existing infrastructure. Due to the frequency and severity of bank erosion and the eminent potential for marked and unmarked graves to be exposed, emergency streambank protection is required.   


Bailey Creek experienced an increase in the frequency and severity of rain events since 2013. Significant scour has occurred on both banks, beginning to erode into two local cemeteries. The Tonica Cemetery Association, the Project’s non-federal sponsor operates both cemeteries. Major flood events in 2013, 2015, and 2016 significantly accelerated the erosion along the left and right banks of Bailey Creek. According to the Tonica Cemetery Association, seven feet of embankment was lost during the last flood event in April 2016.  The sponsor is concerned that if the area is left untreated and unprotected, graves may be lost, which would have significant costs to reinter the remains. 


The Federal Interest Determination was approved on January 11, 2018.  Review Plan was completed in May 2018.  Final Decision Document will be submitted in August 2019. 

CA - Continuing Authorities - Section 14

Summarized Project Costs

Estimated Federal Cost    $637,650
Estimated Non-Federal Cost  $287,350
Estimated Total Project Cost  $925,000
Allocations Prior to FY 2019 $100,000
FY 2019 Allocation  $0 
FY 2019 Total Capability  $50,000


Major Work Item Current Year
FY 2019:
Complete Feasibility.