After 30 Years, New Lock-And-Dam To Be Partially Opened

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OLMSTED, Ill. (AP) – Army Corps of Engineers officials say a new lock-and-dam system on the Ohio River between Illinois and Kentucky will soon be partially operational after 30 years of work.

Officials say ships will be able to start using the Olmsted Locks and Dam in October.

The project to update the system began in 1988, with an original completion date of 2013 and a price tag of $775 million. Project costs later increased to more than $3 billion with a projected completion date between 2022 and 2026.

Army Corps official Mick Awbrey says the decision made in the late 1990s to use the “in-the-wet” construction process contributed to the higher cost. The process involves lowering massive concrete building components into the river instead of creating a dry space to build.