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Illinois Waterway

 
Length: 336 miles (541 kilometers)

The Illinois Waterway (an important part of the waterway connecting the Great Lakes with the Gulf of Mexico)links Lake Michigan with the Mississippi River in north Illinois. The Illinois Waterway extends from the mouth of the Chicago River, on Lake Michigan, following the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, the lower Des Plaines River, and the Illinois River to the Mississippi at Grafton. The Calumet channels branch southeast from the waterway and link it with the Calumet industrial region along the Illinois-Indiana state line. Principal cargoes, carried chiefly by barges, are coal, petroleum, and grain prods. The Illinois Waterway is also known as the Illinois and Michigan Canal.