A state senator with a lot of river in his territory is wondering what can be done about the locks and dams – among other things, how to pay for the necessary improvements. “If we take the full scope of what the river represents, is the industry that uses it willing to help fund and provide the revenue for all of those kinds of fixes?” asks State Sen. Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) at a hearing into the aging locks and dams of the Illinois and upper Mississippi Rivers.
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“Ports tend to levy a tariff with rules and benefits that would accrue to the users. Such a tariff could be applied across a broad spectrum of those beneficial users,” Scott Sigman answered. He’s transportation infrastructure lead for the Illinois Soybean Association.
The hearing in Springfield follows the passage of that federal infrastructure initiative, the Water Resources Reform and Development Act.
The proponents of the upgrades say the locks and dams were built to last 50 years, and that was 80 years ago.