USACE: Illinois Waterway & Chicago Area Navigation

Dear Illinois Waterway & Chicago Area Navigation Partners,

Many of you may know, but for those who have not already heard, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) of 2022 provided Chicago District $52.5 million in Construction General (CG) funding in Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22) for a major rehabilitation of the T.J. O’Brien Lock & Dam.  We will receive an additional $22 million in Operations and Maintenance (O&M) funding in the FY23 for a total investment of almost $75 million.

In coordination with the Inland Navigation Design Center (INDC), we are assembling a Project Delivery Team and will have design efforts underway soon.  It’s too early to know the schedule for the construction and associated closures, which will require close coordination with Rock Island District and Waterway users.  We intend to keep our partners up to date as the project progresses through planning, design, and construction. This work will be a huge step in helping to restore and maintain the integrity and reliability of the Illinois Waterway.

As a reminder, USACE awarded Lockport’s primary upper gate (service gate) last FY and the emergency gate this spring.  We anticipate delivery of the gates in summer of 2024 with the intent to attempt installation that fall, if fabrication remains on schedule.  We do expect some closures for the installation of these gates but are working closely with our Rock Island District partners to reduce the closure periods and align potential work with the Brandon Road Interbasin Project Construction.

We will be sure to keep our navigation partners fully informed regarding the status of these and any future maintenance activities at T.J. O’Brien, Lockport, and Chicago Harbor Lock.  If you have any questions, please contact me or our Chief of Waterways Project Office, Mike Walsh, at or (815) 510-0361.


Chief, Operations and Regulatory Division
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Chicago District
312-846-5552  Office
872-227-4511  Cell