MARSEILLES, Ill. (May 15) — The Unified Command announced Wednesday that limited navigation through the Marseilles Lock and Dam resumed following the elevation of the navigational pool by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
The Marseilles pool was elevated to its navigable level late Wednesday afternoon. Commercial vessels began transiting around 4 p.m. Navigation notices have been coordinated and broadcasted to mariners to inform them of navigation restrictions.
The Coast Guard continues to enforce a Regulated Navigation Area from the Marseilles Lock at mile marker 244.6 to the Gum Creek Light and Daymark at mile marker 247.8. Commercial and recreational vessels intending to pass through the Marseilles Lock must receive permission from the Coast Guard Captain of the Port in advance of intended lockage by contacting (630) 336-0300. The Marseilles Lock will be available to recreational traffic daily at 3:30 p.m. for southbound transits, and 4:15 p.m. for northbound transits. All vessels are prohibited from transiting, anchoring or operating within the Regulated Navigation Area without the approval of the Captain of the Port.
Earlier this week, navigation through the lock and dam was restricted and the navigational pool level was dropped to enable the Army Corps of Engineers to complete construction of a temporary rock dike just below the dam. The dike was built to reduce river flows and facilitate repairs to the 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. Another barge containing iron ore was unloaded and safely removed out of the area on Tuesday. Salvage operations on the two remaining barges will be on hold until the specialized salvage equipment arrives this weekend or early next week.
Vessels transiting through the Marseilles Lock and Dam may experience occasional interruptions or restrictions on navigation while repair operations continue at the dam.
The Coast Guard has established a website to keep the public informed of ongoing operations and provide the latest Unified Command updates on vessel transit restrictions for the Illinois River between the Starved Rock and Dresden Dams. Information can be accessed at http://tinyurl.com/marseillesdamincident.
Release no. USCG