Infrastructure law funds high-priority locks
The US Army Corps of Engineers has allocated funding from the bipartisan infrastructure law for long-awaited upgrades to locks and dams on the Upper Mississippi River system. “As we know, time is money,” says Mike Steenhoek with the Soy Transportation Coalition. He tells Brownfield one of the most important projects for agriculture is on the list – building a second, larger channel at Lock and Dam 25 near Winfield, Missouri.
“When you have a 12-hundred-foot long lock chamber, you can have that entire 15-barge flotilla go through that chamber in one lockage and that whole process will only take 30 to 45 minutes.” Now, he says, a 15-barge flotilla has to be broken in two to pass through Lock and Dam 25, taking at least two hours.
Several state commodity groups put $1-Million dollars toward Lock and Dam 25 renewal.
Another project is nearly $440 Million dollars to complete the “Soo Locks” upgrade for the Great Lakes, “So that’s really good news for those states like Michigan and Minnesota and Indiana and Illinois that all utilize the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway.”
Steenhoek says the Corps also has the final funding for a Kentucky lock, Montgomery lock and dam on the Ohio River and the T.J. O’Brien lock and dam on the Illinois waterway.
Lawmakers led by Cheri Bustos, Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, Ashley Hinson and Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Roy Blunt of Missouri sent a letter to the USACE (the Corps) a month ago requesting Navigation and Ecosystem Sustainability Program be a priority recipient of waterway infrastructure funds.