Olmsted Lock and Dam Project Closing in on 20 Years

Apr 19, 2012

Construction on the Olmsted Lock and Dam Project in Southern Illinois has been ongoing for 20 years, 13 years over schedule. Now a completion date is set for 2026.  Some of the delays are from construction techniques not quite suited for the swift current in that part of the Ohio River.  Project Engineer Richard Schipp says other delays are man-made…

“One of the other major factors is funding, you know we do not get funding to build the project as efficiently as we would like to be able to build it. We do not buy all the materials we want to buy at one time because we’re getting funded on a monthly basis.”

Schipp says the project is worth the hassle, though. The annual benefits from the project are estimated at $741 million per year after completion. He says that would mean a quick payback for taxpayers, who will have paid a projected $2.9 billion for the project by the time it’s done.