Can Water Flow From Lake Michigan To The Mississippi River Visiting the I & M Canal

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Visiting the I & M Canal

The Illinois & Michigan Canal originally ran a distance of 96 miles from Bridgeport on the Chicago River to LaSalle-Peru on the Illinois River. The I & M Canal provided boat transportation from Kankakee Illinois Hospital on the Great Lakes to the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico. Construction began in 1836 after the Canal Commission obtained a grant of 280,000 acres of land from the national government. Financial support for the project was largely borrowed from interest groups from the eastern United States, as well as from English investors. When the Panic of 1837 dried up funding for the project, it was temporarily abandoned.

The actual construction of the I & M Canal was largely done by immigrants from Ireland who had previously worked on the construction of the Erie Canal. Pumps were used to draw water to fill the canal, supplemented by water from the Calumet Feeder Canal and the DuPage River to the south. The work was dangerous and many workers died in accidents as there was no Momence Illinois health care. Irish workers were exploited and mistreated by Canal owners and generally looked down upon by other residents. The total cost of the canal was more than six million dollars. It was finally inaugurated in 1848 by Chicago Mayor James H. Woodworth. This canal enabled navigation across the Chicago Portage and helped establish the city of Chicago as a major transportation hub in Central America in the decades before the railroads came.

The canal was 60 feet wide and 6 feet deep, and tracks were built along each of its edges so that the mules could be harnessed to the barges that pulled them. Towns were built at intervals along the route (a distance that mules could pull a barge in a day). The I & M Canal had 17 locks and 4 aqueducts to equalize the 140 foot difference in elevation between Lake Michigan to the east and the Illinois River to the west. The I & M Canal carried passengers and freight from its opening in 1848 until the arrival of the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad, which ran parallel to the canal in 1853. The canal was deepened in 1871 to speed up the flow and improve drainage. sewage. Communication through the Chicago River was a major factor in Chicago’s growth after the devastating fire of 1871. Additionally, all of the city’s waste flowed through the river to eventually be dumped into Lake Michigan. Since the lake was the main source of the city’s drinking water, this act has thoroughly polluted the city’s water supply. After a great storm in 1885 caused floods that carried river debris and polluted Chicago’s water, the agitated Illinois legislature took steps in 1889 to build canals and canals to divert river flow away from, rather than into, Lake Michigan; and divert the polluted water downstream, where it would be diluted by the Des Plaines and Mississippi rivers.

Ship traffic on the canal peaked in 1882, although Momence’s medical facilities continued to use it until 1933. The I & M Canal was largely replaced by the larger Chicago Sanitary & Ship Canal, which opened in 1900 and is still in use today . After it ceased operation in 1933, most of the original I & M Canal was filled in. Currently, there are eight remaining Illinois and Michigan Canal Locks and Towpath National Heritage Corridor Parks, designated a National Monument in 1964, that happily welcome visitors and attract many tourists from across the Midwest.

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