There's no time to wait to shore up the decaying lock-and-dam network on the Illinois and Upper Mississippi Rivers.
“Why the urgency? Why the need to talk about this within the next year?” Tom O'Hara asks rhetorically. O'Hara, who now works for design/construction/ infrastructure consultant CH2M Hill, used to command the St Louis district of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
“First of all,” O'Hara says, answering his own questions, “there's the continuing increase of risk of failure based on the aging infrastructure and the lack of federal funding to address those needs. The Corps will only select fifteen projects, and it may happen as soon as January.”
O'Hara told a panel of senators in Springfield the network means almost 50,000 jobs and $6.4 billion in annual revenue.