Chicago Electric Fish Barrier 2B


The Electric Fish Barriers are the US Army Corps of Engineer's effort to keep the Asian Carp out of the Great Lakes system. This non-native species first escaped into the Mississippi River and have made their way up into the Illinois River. The Chicago Sanitary and Shipping canal is the only water connection from the Illinois River to Lake Michigan.

This project was barrier 2B, the third and most powerful barrier to date. All are located in on spot of the Chicago Sanitary and Shipping Canal. The blast-proof concrete building was constructed to house the powerful electrical equipment which energize large metal bars at the bottom of the canal. Working directly on the canal and electrified water from the adjacent active electric barriers resulted in a very complex and thorough safety program.

Although our role started as general contractor it quickly turned into a design-build project. Being the only project of its kind there were many design and engineering problems that had to be resolved while still maintaining the project schedule.


Client: US Army Corps of Engineers