Project will install new dam gates and extend lock to reduce wait times for boat traffic
MCHENRY, IL – The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) today announced that construction will begin on a $16.7 million improvement project at the Stratton Lock and Dam on the Fox River in McHenry County.
The Stratton Lock and Dam Life Extension Project will improve three components of the lock and dam facility. A new structure will be built upstream and replace the existing gates. The boat lock will be extended in the downstream direction on the river, which will double the current capacity of the lock. Finally, the berm on the west side of the Fox River will be rehabilitated to correct erosion problems.
Construction will not interrupt normal lock usage or water level control. More than 24,000 boats pass through the Stratton boat lock annually.
The existing Stratton Dam gates, which were built in 1939, will remain operational while the new gates are constructed. The new gates were sized to match the capacity of current gates. The project will have no impact on flooding along the Fox River Once the new gates are fully operational, the existing gate structure will be removed.
The Stratton boat lock was constructed in 1960. The lock extension will reduce wait times during high boat traffic periods. The lock mechanical system will be rehabilitated during the construction project. Lock construction will be take place during the non-boating season, November 1 thru April 30. The Stratton lock will remain operational during the boating season, May 1 thru October 31.
As construction begins, the Stratton Lock and Dam will not be open to visitors. Boaters should be alert to the construction exclusion zones near the lock and dam to ensure the safety of boaters and construction crews. Limited fishing access will remain outside the construction fencing.
Kiewit Infrastructure Company of Chicago will complete the construction under the supervision of the IDNR Office of Water Resources. Funding for the project is through capital funds available for dam safety and improvement projects. It is expected that the project should be completed by November 2016.
An image of the project area is available at this link: http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/news/Documents/StrattonLockDamAerial.pdf