OLMSTED, IL (KFVS) - Sen. Dick Durbin visited the Olmsted Lock and Dam project on Aug. 7.
The Olmsted Lock and Dam project replaced infrastructure from the 1920s and allow much easier navigation of commerce on the Ohio River.
The Olmsted Lock and Dam is the busiest of Illinois' inland water systems. Sen. Durbin helped secure federal funding for the project.
"The Olmsted Lock and Dam is critical to the flow of local commerce and was in dire need of investment," said Durbin. "Our economic competitiveness depends on a modern waterway transportation network that can operate efficiently, even in the face of challenges like extreme weather. I'm will continue to fight for funding that helps grow Illinois' economy, which is key to our competitiveness in the global economy."
Ninety million tons of cargo is moved through the area each year, including limestone, coal, corn and soybeans for domestic and export markets.
New locks will improve lockage time, which can currently take up to five hours.
The system will reduce this time to less than an hour.
The Army Corps estimates that the new lock and dam will create $640 million in annual net economic benefits.