Midwestern Congressmen push for Mississippi River infrastructure funding

Several Midwestern members of Congress are urging federal funding be used on the Upper Mississippi River System.

Missouri Senator Roy Blunt tells Brownfield infrastructure improvements are needed to stay competitive as a key shipping avenue.

“When you have to back up barges on the river because barges are having to be disassembled, run through the smaller locks [and] put back together before you can move on down the river, there’s no way that’s an acceptable economic and competitive way,” Blunt said.

Congressional members, including Illinois’ Cheri Bustos and Dick Durbin, and Iowa’s Chuck Grassley and Ashley Hinson, sent a letter to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers stressing the need to modernize the locks and dams throughout the river system.

Blunt, who co-wrote the letter, said funding from the $2.5 billion dollar Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act would be a start in solving the river system’s problems…

“And I think there’d still be work to be done if that entire $2.5 billion was dedicated to the upper Missouri,” he said.

Blunt said river navigation needs to return as the focus after environmental has recently been prioritized. The Upper Mississippi River System includes the Missouri and Illinois Rivers.

Senator Roy Blunt Interview

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