Locks and dams one step closer to repairs

By WEEK Reporter

October 25, 2013 Updated Oct 25, 2013 at 11:12 AM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- Aging locks and dams along the Illinois River are one step closer to much-needed repairs.

The U.S. House of Representatives overwhelming passed a water resources bill.

Its goal is to speed up infrastructure improvements on systems like the Peoria Lock and Dam.

The Army Corps of Engineers said it is in need of major maintenance on gates, valves and concrete.

The bill shifts $12 billion from old projects to new ones, but more money is needed in the Illinois Waterway Trust Fund.

Congressman Aaron Schock is sponsoring legislation that would generate about $50 million called the Wave Act.

"That's being promoted by the barge operators that are basically saying raise our fees on our barge traffic and plow the money into the Illinois waterways trust fund," Congressman Schock said. "In other words, we barge operators are willing to help pay for the infrastructure needs that we're going to us."

Congressman Schock expects the Senate to consider the water resources bill in the coming weeks.

To submit a comment on this article, your email address is required. We respect your privacy and your email will not be visible to others nor will it be added to any email lists.