Saturday, April 1, 2017

Illinois River La Grange Lock and Dam Repairs

(John A. Weeks III)

Pages 2 and 3 of the March 30, 2017 USDA Grain Transportation report (source link) indicates the locks will be closed 10 hours each day between June and August. Fortunately, this is a low season for soybeans and corn shipments during this period.

Note that the report indicates that about a third of the grain for Lock 26 on the Mississippi comes from the Illinois Waterway and about two-thirds comes from the upper Mississippi River.

This is a wicket dam and this satellite image indicates the river flow is low because the gates are up. I assume the barge parked next to the Tainter gate is the tender that is used to raise and lower the gates.

One of John's photos shows the gates were also up when he visited. And it includes a view of the tender.

John A. Weeks III
I checked Bing's satellite image to see if the gates were down. They were not.

The additional barges and tow boats are of interest. Given all of the pickup trucks along the lock entrance (workers), it appears they are doing some maintenance. It just occurred to me that they don't have to wait until night for "off hours" because towboat crews work around the clock. They can do maintenance during the day without changing the impact on the barge traffic.

I checked the Birds-Eye View, but it is the same as this aerial view. So this image is probably about eight years old. (Sometimes the Bing aerial view is more contemporary.)

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