Engineers evaluating situation to determine how to repair it
TISKILWA — The eastern bank of the Hennepin Canal, near Lock 6 east of Tiskilwa, has failed.
The ruptured wall of earth and concrete sent enough water and debris to knock down multiple nearby trees and move a flatbed trailer serving as a foot bridge over a creek. The break has caused the water level in that area of the canal to drop by several feet.
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is responsible for the Hennepin Canal State Park.
Keenan Campbell, director of the Bureau County Emergency Management Agency, said Tuesday that engineers are evaluating the area to determine the cause of the levee failure and the best way it can be repaired.
"There's a type of concrete box culvert running under the canal, and they believe the frozen ground and excess water runoff could've possibly eroded it and caused the breach, but we're not sure yet," Campbell said.
The canal, which opened to commerce in 1907 between the Mississippi River near Rock Island to the Illinois River near Hennepin, was later converted to recreational use.
The main canal covers more than 75 miles, and the feeder canal that connects to the Rock River is nearly 30 miles long. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and the state park is a popular recreational area in Bureau, Rock Island, Henry, Lee and Whiteside counties.