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.