U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Rock Island District, IL

Emergency Material, Equipment & Logistical Support, Flood Damage, Marseilles Lock & Dam

Marseilles Lock is 244.6 miles above the confluence of the Illinois River with the Mississippi river at Grafton, Illinois, at the foot of Bells Island. Marseilles Dam is 2.5 miles upstream of the lock at the head of Bells Island.

Project Location:
Illinois Waterway, Marseilles, IL

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers - Rock Island - Construction

Marseilles Lock & Dam Emergency Response Dike Construction - Illinois Waterway, Marseilles, Illinois

Record flooding in the Illinois Waterway at Marseilles, IL caused barges to break loose, striking and damaging portions of the dam rendering two of the eight gates inoperable. RB Construction Company was asked to provide materials, equipment and logistical support to the USACE for construction of an earthen dike downstream of the damaged dam. The purpose for the dike was to maintain the 9 foot deep pool required for navigation of river traffic.

RB’s Project Manager met with USACE Emergency Operations personnel at the site prior to receiving a contract to aid in the development of the requirements and logistics for construction. RB Construction Company reacted quickly and worked 24 hours a day, for a continuous 14 day duration, until the dike was constructed and river navigation traffic could resume.


  • Project required 42,000 tons of rock with aggregate material sizes ranging from 2 inches to stone weighing over 40,000 pounds.
  • Use of specialized heavy duty material handling equipment required.
  • Work occurred during high water flow conditions.
  • With ever-changing conditions, maintained 24 hour a day communications with the USACE Operations personnel.

U.S. Army Corp of Engineers Representative:
“The response by the entire District to this incident has been an incredible team effort. All of the people working on this, whether they are in Operations, Engineering & Construction, Contracting, Safety – have displayed a remarkable willingness to do whatever it took to complete the job. I think the District should be proud of the effort and the results”.

Click on Video for Time Lapse Dike Construction.