The Brandon Road Interbasin Project is a complex ecosystem protection effort designed to prevent upstream movement of invasive carp and other aquatic nuisance species into the Great Lakes from the Illinois Waterway. Brandon Road Lock and Dam near Joliet, Illinois, has been identified as the critical pinch point where layered technologies could be used to prevent movement of invasive carp populations into the Great Lakes.    

Pre-construction engineering and design of the Brandon Road Interbasin Project was initiated Dec. 29, 2020, when the state of Illinois signed a design agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Rock Island District. This phase of the project, known as PED, is estimated to last three years, cost $28.9 million, and be cost shared 65 percent federal, 35 percent non-federal. The state of Michigan contributed $8 million to the state of Illinois to help with the $10.1 million non-federal portion.

The recommended plan involves a layered system of structural and non-structural control measures. Structural measures include technologies such as a flushing lock, an engineered channel with electric barrier, underwater acoustic deterrent, air bubble curtain and an automated barge clearing deterrent. Non-structural measures, implemented in conjunction with other federal agencies, could include public education and outreach, monitoring, integrated pest management, pesticides, manual or mechanical removal, and research and development.

Overview of the Brandon Road Interbasin Project site plan

Anticipated Project Timeline

(Click to view full-size PDF)Brandon Road Interbasin Project Overview

Brandon Road Interbasin Project Featured on PBS

The Brandon Road Interbasin Project was recently featured on PBS in a new show titled Human Footprint. In the first episode, Strangers in Paradise, biologist Shane Campbell-Staton travels to Brandon Road Lock and Dam near Joliet, Illinois, to talk with Scott Whitney from the USACE Rock Island District about how the project aims to stop invasive carp from moving into the Great Lakes. The episode covers information about how the invasive carp came to live in the Illinois Waterway and how the series of features being designed for the Brandon Road Interbasin Project will prevent them from passing through the lock. It also talks
about how some of the non-structural efforts being done to manage the species in the state of Illinois while the project is still in design. Click the image to the right to view the show. NOTE: The segment on invasive carp starts at 16:15 in the video.

Contact Us

For more information on the Brandon Road Interbasin Project contact the Rock Island District at: (309) 794-5729 or email:


Our latest Quarterly Newsletter was distributed August 23, 2023. A digital copy is posted above. An online webinar will be hosted Tuesday, Aug. 29 at 1 p.m. (Central Time) via WebEx. Anyone interested in learning more or asking questions of the project team is welcome to join the call. If you would like to receive log in information for the webinar, please CLICK HERE to be added to the mailing list.