A ribbon cutting ceremony for the Army Corps of Engineers Louisville District Olmsted Locks and Dam project, Olmsted, Illinois, will be held August 29, 2018, at the project site. The event is open to the public.
The $2.7 billion project on the lower Ohio River is estimated to open in the summer of 2018. The new locks are complete. The dam is more than 93 percent done, and the remaining construction to prepare for the official opening is in the works.
With two new 1,200-foot locks and a 2,500-foot dam the project is considered the nation’s inland waterways’ largest civil works project. The entire project will be complete in 2020 after the old locks 52 and 53 are removed from the river and cleanup work is finished on land. Reliability will be significantly increased as the existing locks are decades beyond their designed service life.
The project is located on the Ohio River at mile 964.6, approximately 17 miles upstream from where the Ohio River merges with the Mississippi, Tennessee and Cumberland rivers. Olmsted is located on one of the busiest stretches of the inland waterways system for commercial navigation. The Olmsted replacement project is being built a few miles from the old locks. Approximately 90 million tons of products — coal, grains and iron products as examples — transit through this area annually.