Ice Gorge On Illinois Drops Water Level At Lagrange Lock

The Waterways Journal
January 20, 2014

Lock gates were still being repaired at LaGrange Lock on the Illinois River at press time: estimates had repairs complete by January 17. The locks wickets were dropped on the night of January 15, but because water was trapped upriver by ice gorges. the levels dropped near the lock, leaving water not sufficient for boats to transit the pass.

During the deep freeze of the previous week, ice built up along the waterway, particularly in the Peoria. Ill., area, the Corps of Engineers said, making it tough for tows of barges to pass through and leading to reduced deliveries, according to the Corps.

There are tow width restrictions at four locks on the Illinois River because of ice build-up on the sides of lock chambers. as well as problems fully opening lock gates. Widths were cut to 105 feet from the normal 110 feet at four locks — LaGrange at Versailles. Ill.; Peoria at Crewe Coeur: Starved Rock at Ottawa: and at Marseilles Lock.

At press time, lock operators were expecting water levels at LaGrange to increase thanks to upriver efforts to break up the ice gorges. hopefully allowing boats to rim the pass by January 17.