ROCK ISLAND, Illinois. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Rock Island District, temporarily closed the Lockport Lock and Dam today when crews at the lock became concerned about gun range activity in close proximity to lock operations.
Crews at the Lockport Lock and Dam, located near Joliet, Ill., took shelter due to gun range activity at approximately 11 a.m. resulting in lock operations ceasing. Navigation of the lock was closed to both commercial and recreation vessels for nearly two hours until the lock crew deemed the gun fire had stopped and safe operations could resume.
“Our crew at Lockport has seen an increased usage of a gun range just downstream of the lock,” said Tom Heinold, Rock Island District Chief of Operations. “In some cases, the crew report hearing bullets flying close by. We have decided, to ensure the safety of our lock staff, we will close the lock when we become aware that the gun range is active. Closures like the one today could become common depending on how often the gun range is used.”
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials have contacted the U.S. Coast Guard and local law enforcement.
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Release no. 18-069