U.S. Sen. Durbin visits project he started working on decades ag - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

U.S. Sen. Durbin visits project he started working on decades ago: Olmsted Locks and Dam

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PULASKI COUNTY, Ill. -- U.S. Senator Dick Durbin today visited a project he first started working to get funded decades ago: the Olmsted Locks and Dam in Pulaski County. 

Durbin started working on securing funding for the project as member of the House when Paul Simon was still senator.  

Engineers led him on a tour of the dam toady, which is nearly complete after 30 years.

"I'm looking at one of the most expensive public works projects in the history of the United States of America," said Durbin.

This $2.7 billion project allows for more efficient river travel.

Every year, it's estimated that 6,500 vessels move 90 million tons of commodites like coal, corn and soybeans through the dam and to the market. 

U.S. Sen. Durbin says he's proud to be a part of the project which he says allows America to be a more profitable nation, "All of the businesses that count on that movement of that traffic depend on these locks operating efficiently and effectively."

There will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Olmsted Locks and Dam August 30th.

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