This article comes from NGFA's May 19th newsletter.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Louis District, held a groundbreaking ceremony on May 18 for the new 1,200-foot lock chamber being constructed at Lock and Dam 25 near Winfield, MO.
The ceremony launches the first phase of a multi-year effort to add a 1,200-foot lock to the site’s existing original 600-foot chamber.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers awarded a contract for the Phase 1 work in September 2022 to Massman Construction Co.
The existing lock will remain operational to river traffic through the first phase, which could be completed in January 2024.
NGFA advocated for the project’s funding, which Congress included in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act signed into law by President Joe Biden in November 2021.
The new 1,200-foot lock is necessary because the current 600-foot chamber isn’t large enough for standard, 15-barge tows to travel through without first disassembling.
Disassembly can take two to three hours and requires a mariner to be out on a barge deck, adding a safety risk.
The new lock would eliminate the need for decoupling barges, allowing for passage in less than an hour.
Speakers at the event included Mitch Landrieu, senior advisor to the president and White House infrastructure coordinator; Michael Connor, assistant secretary of the Army for Civil Works; and Maj. Gen. Diana Holland, Mississippi Valley Division Commander.