A locks and dam project 30 years in the making on the Ohio River is in the final phase of completion and ahead of schedule.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Olmsted Locks and Dam division chief Mike Braden said completion is projected for October 1, 2018 - four years ahead of an earlier assessment.
Braden said the completion of the Olmsted project will have a national impact. “Right there where Olmsted is being constructed is the busiest in terms of commodities in the entire country so we call it the hub of the Inland Waterways Transportation System," Braden said.
“So when Olmsted comes online it will provide a reliable navigation on that stretch of the new river for at least a 50 year horizon going forward," he said.
The new locks and dam is under construction between Illinois and Kentucky approximately 17 miles from the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers. The new locks and dam is expected to produce a net average of more than $640 million in economic benefits annually. Some 75 million to 100 million tons move through Locks 52 and 53 each year depending on growing seasons prior to construction.
Editor's note: This story has been updated and corrected. We had erroneously written "Illinois way" instead of "Inland Waterways" in the quote.