WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today met with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Rock Island District Commander Colonel Jesse T. Curry to receive an update on several Illinois infrastructure projects, including the Brandon Road project to protect the Great Lakes from the spread of invasive Carp. Durbin secured nearly $226 million in funding for the project in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) in addition to $47.2 million in the Fiscal Year 2023 omnibus bill.

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Durbin and Colonel Curry also discussed the Navigation Ecosystem Sustainability Program (NESP), a first-of-its-kind Corps program that will expand and modernize seven locks at the most congested lock locations along the Upper Mississippi and Illinois rivers, fund nearly $2 billion in ecosystem restoration, allow Illinois agriculture to better compete globally, and create thousands of jobs. Durbin received an update on the construction on Lock 25, as well as the environmental restoration project to create a fish passage at Lock 22.

The two leaders concluded their meeting by speaking about the Quincy Bay Restoration Project, which aims to reverse the impact of sedimentation and erosion at Quincy Bay to improve ecosystems, waterways for boaters, and recreation. Colonel Curry noted that the project is still undergoing its feasibility study, which is expected to be completed later this year. Durbin previously secured funding for the project through the Upper Mississippi River Restoration (UMRR) program.

“Illinois’ water infrastructure is a vital part of our state’s economy. With the millions in federal support coming into Illinois from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, we can modernize our state’s locks and protect the Great Lakes from invasive species,” said Durbin. “I had a productive discussion today with Colonel Curry about working with the state of Illinois to advance the Brandon Road Interbasin Project—we cannot afford to wait to address the threat of invasive carp.”

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