MARSEILLES, Ill. (May 13) — The Unified Command announced Monday that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers completed construction of a temporary rock dike to aid in the repairs of the Marseilles dam.
The Marseilles Dam was damaged during an incident April 18 when seven barges broke loose from a tow during historic flooding on the Illinois River. Four of the seven barges were removed through salvage operations in April. Work is underway now to safely remove the remaining three barges, beginning with lightering of the barge containing iron ore.
The Army Corps of Engineers built a temporary rock dike just below the dam to reduce river flows and facilitate repairs to the dam. The dike was constructed using approximately 42,000 tons of rock and stretches more than 300 feet. The dike may also assist the Corps in maintaining the navigational pool upstream of the Marseilles Lock and Dam.
In addition to the dike, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, in coordination with the U.S. Coast Guard and the barge industry, implemented a temporary drawdown of the pool to further reduce river flows at the dam.
The drawdown is planned to end Tuesday afternoon. Navigation notices have been coordinated and broadcasted to mariners to inform them of navigation restrictions.
The Coast Guard will implement a daily watch at the Marseilles Dam starting at noon Tuesday in anticipation of commercial vessel traffic resuming on Tuesday at 8:00 p.m. Scheduled commercial vessel transits will be allowed only during nighttime hours to avoid conflicts with vessels engaged in salvage operations. Vessel operators desiring to transit through the Marseilles Lock Canal should obtain permission by contacting the Coast Guard at 630-336-0300.
All recreational vessel traffic is prohibited in the Restricted Navigation Area (RNA) around Marseilles Lock between mile markers 252 and 240.6. Recreational vessels desiring to enter the RNA must obtain permission from the Coast Guard by calling 630-336-0300.
Release no. USCG