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Safety Upgrades in Progress at Marseilles Lock and Dam

LA SALLE COUNTY - Work to maintain safety at the Marseilles Lock and Dam is currently in the works.
LA SALLE COUNTY - Work to maintain safety at the Marseilles Lock and Dam is currently in the works.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is in the middle of a three year project to prevent the facility from flooding again.

When water breached the levy this spring, seven barges crashed into the dam.

The force made some of its gates inoperable, which meant the waterway couldn't be regulated.

Crews are installing bulkheads allowing traffic to better navigate the pathway.

Marseilles Police Captain Kenneth Sangston says if water levels fall, travel is restricted, which could take a negative toll on the area's economy.

"There would be a loss of pool in the waterway in the Marseilles pool essentially the water levels in the river would be going down and it would halt the barge traffic and commerce coming up and won the Illinois river in this area,” Sangston explained.

Four foot dirt barriers have also been placed near neighborhoods to prevent flooding.

Authorities say the cost of the project is not yet known, but federal funding is needed to pay for it.
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