According to today's USDA Grain Transportation Report, on May 18, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) will break ground on construction to double the size of Lock and Dam 25 on the Mississippi River.
Expected to be completed in 2033, the final project will add a 1,200-foot lock to the site of the current 600-foot chamber.
The upcoming, first phase of construction will modify the current lock’s wall to allow part of the new, larger wall to be attached.
Floating mooring, kevels, line hooks, and other pieces that barges require to move through the lock will be added to the current lock during the first phase.
With an upgrade to save 2-3 hours per locking, the new 1,200-foot lock will allow the standard-barge tows to traverse it without being disassembled (as is currently done).
The project to upgrade Lock and Dam 25 received $732 million from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, though cost certification for the total project is still ongoing.
By keeping the existing lock operational during the first phase, USACE aims to minimize impacts on cargo companies.
In 2022, almost 11.6 million tons of grain moved through Lock 25.