Corps of Engineers returns electric Barrier IIB to previous settings
CHICAGO – On Oct. 18, 2011, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers returned Barrier IIB settings from 2.3 volts per inch, 30 hertz, 2.5 milliseconds back to 2.0 volts per inch, 15 hertz, 6.5 milliseconds.
This action was taken in response to concerns that the higher settings may be causing interference with the railroad operating signals and with the railroad crossing gates immediately adjacent to the electric dispersal barriers in the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal.
Initial results from on-site testing conducted by Corps of Engineers personnel, expert consultants and railroad signal technicians seem to indicate the barrier may be contributing to communication and gate malfunctions and could impact the safe operation of multiple trains using this rail line. While we pursue solutions to address this issue as quickly as possible, we feel it was prudent to return to the previous settings to remove that unsafe condition.
Barrier IIB had been operating at the higher settings since Oct. 11, 2011. While extensive research and monitoring indicate that very small Asian carp are not currently within the vicinity of the electric barriers, and all field telemetry research indicates the barrier is highly effective, the Corps had increased the parameters as a precautionary measure.