Four Illinois lawmakers on Capitol Hill have introduced a bill to get long overdue infrastructure upgrades on the lock and dam systems of the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers. Senators Mark Kirk and Dick Durbin and Representatives Cheri Bustos and Rodney Davis introduced the bipartisan Water Infrastructure Now Public Private Partnership Act creating a pilot program to explore Army Corps of Engineers agreements with private entities as alternatives to financing, planning, design and construction.
The lawmakers say updated, efficient river transportation is critical to the Midwest economy and agriculture. Their bill would authorize up to 15 previously authorized projects to improve water infrastructure. New agreements would be reached under the pilot program to speed up the process.
A joint news release from the four lawmakers says their bill would help clear a $60 Billion backlog in Army Corps projects in the U.S.