The LaGrange Lock & Dam repair project is still full steam ahead. The COVID-19 pandemic has not slowed the planned closure of the lock & dam scheduled for July 1st to September 30th for full repairs of the lock & dam system. The Army Corps of Engineers is hoping that this summer will be without high water.
LaGrange is one of six locks scheduled for extended closure this summer as part of the Army Corps of Engineers’ consolidated repair schedule, which also briefly closed two locks for prep work last summer and calls for two more closures in 2023. The COVID-19 pandemic should have no significant impact on the schedule, the amount of work or the project time line according to the Army Corps.
LaGrange has the biggest scope of work to be done on the schedule including complete replacement of the lock and dam machinery, miter gate machinery, valve machinery for filling and emptying the lock, upgraded control systems and all the concrete walls. Prep work began at the lock last year including a substantial amount of concrete and utility work done through the winter.
The corps told the Quincy Herald-Whig that simultaneously closing multiple locks will provide time for needed critical repairs and maintenance while reducing the impact to navigation. Navigation on the rest of the river, between the locks, will not be affected by the closures. Recreational and commercial vessels will be able to navigate within the pools without restriction.
LaGrange is one of only two wicket dams on the Illinois Waterway and is located 7.8 miles south of Beardstown, and has been in full operation since 1939.