MARSEILLES, Ill — (June 7) The Unified Command announced Friday that an area of the Illinois River near the Marseilles Dam will be temporarily closed Monday, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., due to salvage operations being conducted to remove two remaining submerged barges.
In an effort to ensure the safety of personnel and equipment during salvage operations, the section of the river which will be closed to all commercial and recreational vessels encompasses the area near the Dam, extending approximately 600 yards upstream from the mouth of the canal. Entry into, transiting, or anchoring within this area, which was designated a Safety Zone by the Coast Guard on May 17, is prohibited unless authorized by the Captain of the Port, or his designated representative.
Salvage operations continue at Marseilles Dam to remove two partially sunken barges. The removal of steel plates from one of the barges is nearing completion, and salvage operators anticipate lifting and removing that barge on Monday. Work to offload and safely remove the second barge containing cement will resume next week.
The general public and vessel operators will see law enforcement agencies on the water near the designated area to ensure compliance with the Safety Zone.
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.
For further details, vessel operators should tune to Channel 16 or contact Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan at 414-747-7190.
Release no. USCG