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About Us

Welcome to the Chicago District!

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Chicago District mission is to provide valued, world class leadership, engineering services, and management capabilities to the diverse stakeholders and partners within the greater Chicagoland metropolitan area and the nation.

In 1833, Army engineers began construction of a harbor at the mouth of the Chicago River, creating an important shipping center. From 1844 to 1915, the Corps of Engineers constructed and improved harbors along the Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin shorelines. From the 1940s through the 1970s, the district was involved in a variety of military and civil construction projects including NIKE missile bases, the military facility at O’Hare, widening the Cal-Sag navigation channel and constructing Burns Harbor. In the 1980s, the Chicago District took over operation and maintenance of the Chicago Harbor Lock and expanded its interagency support to include providing construction assistance to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s wastewater treatment Construction Grants Program and Superfund. In the 1990s, the Chicago District began several major flood risk management projects in Illinois and Northwest Indiana, directed the emergency relief effort for the Great Chicago Tunnel Flood, developed an enhanced aquatic ecosystem restoration program and started addressing aquatic nuisance species issues.

Today, the Chicago District is responsible for water resources development in the Chicago metropolitan area, an area of about 5,000 square miles with a population of about nine million, through a variety of projects including flood risk management and storm damage reduction, navigation, aquatic ecosystem restoration, emergency management and interagency and international services.

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