The Jerry F. Costello Lock and Dam (formerly the Kaskaskia Lock and Dam) is located on the Kaskaskia River at the confluence of the Mississippi River at river mile 117. The Lock and Dam is located 0.8 miles off of the Mississippi river approximately 8 miles up stream from Chester, IL. The Navigation Project approximately 36 miles from Fayetteville to the Mississippi River was straightened cutting off approximately 26 river bends (oxbows) to increase the efficiencies in hauling coal and grain via barge. Construction began in 1967 and the project became operational on November 9, 1973. The lock is 600 feet long and 84 feet wide with a maximum lift capability of 29 feet. The dam is composed of (2) 60 foot by 30 foot tainter gates of the dam.
Now the Kaskaskia River channel is navigable to New Athens, (Mile # 28), approximately 9 feet deep for the transportation of barge traffic. The Kaskaskia River continues upstream for smaller recreational traffic. Traffic on the river varies from barge traffic carrying grain, slag, coiled steel, etc. to small recreational pleasure craft. The Lock and Dam also provides an opportunity for safe harbor for those wishing to tie off away from the Mississippi River. Also, there is two Marinas one at Evansville (Mile #10) providing full service and New Athens (Mile # 28) and several boat ramps for access. The 9-1-1 system is also available for the safety of all boaters with mile markers and 6 emergency pick up locations.
Proper Lockage Procedures for Recreational Vessels
- No wake is to be observed entering and exiting the lock (from the beginning of the guide wall where the small boat signal is to the end of the guide wall exiting the chamber)
- No swimming in the lock approach or in the lock chamber.
- Personal watercraft will be accepted for lockage. Operators of the stand up and ride variety must tie off and board an approved vessel.
- Keep arm and legs in vessel at all times.
- A maximum of 50 vessels will be permitted in the lock chamber and all must be tied off to begin lockage.
- Vessels should signal lock personnel by either small vessel signal at the end of the guide wall or by marine radio (channel 14).
- Vessels must remain at the small vessel signal while awaiting lockage.
- When lock is ready to accept vessels, lock personnel will signal with a yellow and green light. Vessels will then proceed slowly into the lock chamber (no wake zone).
- After vessels have entered the lock, they are required to tie off to a floating mooring bit or tie onto another vessel that is tied to a mooring bit. Do not tie off on the ladders.
- Vessels musts remain tied off in the lock chamber until signaled with a horn blast.
- The no wake zone continues until the end of the guide wall when exiting the lock.