Durbin Visits Olmsted Lock & Dam Project

OLMSTED—U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today visited the Olmsted Lock and Dam project, which replaced 1920’s-era infrastructure and will allow for much easier navigation of commerce on the Ohio River.  The Olmsted Lock and Dam is one of the busiest stretches of Illinois’ inland water system for commercial navigation.  Durbin has helped secure federal funding for this project over the years. 

“The Olmsted Lock and Dam is critical to the flow of local commerce, and was in dire need of investment.  Our economic competitiveness depends on a modern waterway transportation network that can operate efficiently, even in the face of challenges like extreme weather,” said Durbin.  “I’m will continue to fight for funding that helps grow Illinois’ economy, which is key to our competitiveness in the global economy.”

Photos of today’s visit are available here.

About 6,500 vessels move 90 million tons of cargo a year through this area, including limestone, coal, corn, and soybeans for both domestic and export markets.  The new locks will significantly improve lockage times, which currently can take up to five hours.  After the new system opens, the locking time will be reduced to less than an hour.   The Army Corps estimates that the new lock and dam will create $640 million in annual net economic benefits.