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updated: 7/29/2014 1:26 PM

Illinois River's man-made island now complete

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Associated Press

PEORIA -- A man-made island in the Illinois River built to provide habitat for fish and a place for birds to call home will officially be complete this week.

The Army Corps of Engineers plans to mark the end of the five-year project with a ceremony Friday in Peoria.

Anthony Heddlesten is an environmental engineer with the Army Corps. He tells the Journal Star in Peoria that the 24-acre island is already thick with cottonwoods and willows. Ducks, geese and heron also are being seen.

The island is built of material dredged from the river.

John Marlin of the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center at the University of Illinois says he would like to see the island built up another 10 feet to accommodate trees such as pin oaks.

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