An agreement between the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and Lone Star Industries (Buzzi Unicem USA), announced Monday the Buzzi Unicem-owned section of the Vermilion River outside Oglesby will reopen for public recreation in 2011.
The agreement, which stalled in negotiations this summer, will permit the state to install safety buoys and additional warning signs on and around a low-head dam on Unicem’s segment of the river.
The IDNR also will designate a restricted boating area at the dam, and design and construct a future dam safety project on that segment of the Vermilion River. Starting in July 2009, the cement company prohibited the public from using that part of the river — a key stretch for river rafting enthusiasts — following a drowning and other rapid water accidents.
The area will remain closed to the public, as it was all this year, until the safety measures and warning signs are installed at the dam.
"We appreciate the willingness of the company to work with the IDNR to find ways to improve safety at their dam that will allow those who enjoy rafting, canoeing and kayaking on the Vermilion River to have access to that stretch of the river," said IDNR Director Marc Miller.
As a result of the US$489m disposal the company had a US$237m gain, which boosted the rest of the figures.