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USACE Chicago begins structural design charrette for T.J. O'Brien Lock major rehab.

Chicago District
Published March 6, 2024
Updated: March 6, 2024

Last week, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Chicago District, hosted the T.J. O’Brien Major Rehab Structural Value Based Design Charrette at the district headquarters. Two of these meetings are planned with the first focusing on structural components and the next on mechanical updates for the lock. 

A corrosion study was conducted to understand the needs to update the guide and lock walls to perform for the next 50 years or longer. Black & Veatch and AECOM Joint Venture along with Strategic Value Solutions, Inc. (SVS), and the Illinois Navigation Design Center (INDC), joined district employees to come up with 60 ideas for this project. Ultimately, the list was narrowed down to eight best value solutions chosen for their maximum function and minimum resources.

The group will choose a final solution along with a preferred alternative. The draft report is due March 15.

“Finishing up the estimates will be a key critical path for us”, says Ryan Robinson, a Project Manager from SVS. “We will reconvene and compare cost vs. performance.”

The T.J. O’Brien Lock and Controlling Works is located at the entrance to Lake Michigan, Calumet River, in Chicago, Illinois. The facility is a unit of the Inland Waterway Navigation System and is one of nine such facilities between Chicago and Versailles, Illinois. The T.J. O’Brien lock allows recreational and commercial vessels to travel along the Illinois waterway.


Release no. 24-026

Chick Lock

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