A ceremonial ribbon cutting 30 years in the making is scheduled for late summer in southern Illinois.
The ceremony at Olmsted Locks and Dam near the confluence of the Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers will take place on August 29th.
The U.S. Congress, through the Water Resources and Development Act of 1988, first approved a 775 million dollar budget for the project. Earlier this year, the estimated cost of the project is over 3 billion dollars.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says this is both the largest and the most expensive inland waterway project ever undertaken in the United States.
When it's completed, passage through Olmsted on the Ohio River should be reduced from five hours to less than one.