May 19, 2023

Corps of Engineers breaks ground for new Mississippi River lock

Source: The Intelligencer


The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers broke ground Thursday on a new lock chamber adjacent to — and twice as long as — the existing lock at Winfield near Batchtown, Illinois.

The lock chamber will be 1,200 feet long and 110 feet wide. It will be constructed next to the current lock chamber built in 1939 that is 600 feet long and 110 feet wide.

“[The] groundbreaking was what the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act was all about – bringing new life into our existing infrastructure while jump-starting our economy," Illinois U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin said. 

"Our environment, our jobs market, and our transport industry will be made better for the upgrades to Lock 25, which has been a fixture in the St. Louis region since the 1930s,” Durbin said.

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law signed into law in November includes $829 million in funding for Mississippi River locks and dams. Along with the Winfield project, the Navigation and Ecosystem Sustainability Program includes a fish passage structure at Lock 22 in Saverton, Missouri, and other small-scale ecosystem and navigation projects in the region.

"Protecting and strengthening our inland waterways, especially the Mississippi River, is critical to growing our local economies and protecting the health and safety of our communities,” U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth of Illinois said. "This project will help protect our environment, modernize our water infrastructure, and provide good-paying, local jobs for the region.”

Construction for the first phase of the Winfield project is scheduled to be completed in the spring.

Corps officials said the design for the remainder of the project is ongoing and is expected to be completed by summer 2026. Construction for the reminder of the project is expected to begin shortly after design is completed and is forecast to be completed and commissioned in 2034.

By:  Ron DeBrock