PALOS HILLS, Ill. (AP) — Nature preservationists are cheering action to connect two waterways separated a century ago.

Friends of the Chicago River and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources have linked Mill Creek in Chicago’s southwest suburbs to the Cal-Sag Channel.

It means the 2-mile (3.2-kilometer) Mill Creek could soon be teeming with new species of fish and mussels. It currently has only five species of fish.

The nearly $250,000 project funded by the Chi-Cal Rivers Fund was completed this week. Tons of limestone and concrete shelves which separated the two waterways were removed.

Engineers creating the 16-mile Cal-Sag Channel in 1922 built it below Mill Creek and blocked passed for aquatic life. The channel connects the Little Calumet River to the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal. It’s part of the Chicago River system.

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