USACE, Chicago Harbor Lock Reopens For The 2024 Season After Winter Construction

The Chicago Harbor Lock, operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), is open for vessel traffic as of April 15, marking the end of this phase of construction. The reinforced lock floor was completed last week and included replacing tile from the lock floor using reinforced concrete with micropiles along with dredging excess material. This was done by using dive teams and maintaining a 24/7 construction operation schedule.

The required maintenance was needed to create a secure and durable floor and ensure north and south walls will withstand forces from extreme weather and vessels. The lock will continue to be under construction over the next couple of winters to continue to make floor and wall repairs which are now approximately 50% complete.

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The Chicago Harbor Lock is located adjacent to Navy Pier and separates the Chicago River and Lake Michigan. It locked through over 75,000 vessels last season (April-Nov) moving each from river elevation to lake elevation and vice versa. It is one of the busiest locks in the country for both commercial and recreational vessels.

“It’s great that we have the opportunity to ensure the continued reliability of one the busiest locks in the Nation and we look forward to wrapping this project up, along with a few others over the next couple of years”, says Michael Walsh, Chief of the Waterways Project Office for USACE Chicago.

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This portion of the project was completed by Brenner Concrete Construction of Crown Point, Ind. and was allocated $39M of federal funding.

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