The Illinois River in central Illinois provides essential habitat for North American migratory birds and large river fish. The river's backwaters and side channels accumulated prodigious amounts of sediment during the past century, which severely degrading this resource. Restoration of the river the system will require removal of large quantities of sediment. Illinois is investigating the quality and characteristics of the sediment and methods of efficiently removing and placing it for storage or beneficial use. Part of this effort is focused on high solids dredging and long distance an transport to sites in need of soil or fill. Uses such as island creation and enhancement are also under consideration. Demonstration and pilot projects tested a variety of equipment types including clamshell buckets and a hydraulic clamshell on an excavator arm. Concrete pumps, both fixed and truck-mounted, conveyors, and a variety of barges and trucks were used for sediment transport and handling. After weathering, the sediment is quite similar to central Illinois topsoil in its physical structure. Plant growth tests demonstrated that it performs as well as high quality topsoil. Urban renewal sites near waterways are likely candidates for use of sediment-derived topsoil. Soil availability is often limited in these areas and the cost and inconvenience of moving large numbers of trucks through cities is a major consideration. A pilot project moved 94,300 tonnes of dredged material from Peoria Lake at East Peoria, IL to an old industrial site in Chicago, a distance of 270 km. Copyright ASCE 2005.