October 23, 2019

Duckworth Advocates for Increased Federal Inland Waterways Cost Share to Help Expand the Quad Cities Economy


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) discussed the need to improve federal cost-sharing for major inland waterways projects with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Ryan Fisher at a U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW) hearing today focused on improving American economic competitiveness through water infrastructure. Increasing the federal cost-share for inland projects, which currently receive a smaller portion of federal funding than other major projects like highways and airports, would help local economies in areas like the Quad Cities by modernizing locks and dams to expand capacity and efficiency. Video from today’s hearing is available here.

“Efficient navigation on our inland system is key to our global economic competitiveness,” Duckworth said. “Every time a lock faces an unscheduled closure, freight traffic shifts to roadways and rail, costs rise for shippers, and already razor-thin margins for farmers and manufacturers are further eroded. Despite the critical nature of our inland system, it always seem to take a backseat to other infrastructure efforts.”

Duckworth is a strong supporter of increasing the federal cost share for inland waterways projects, especially on the Upper Mississippi. Earlier this week, Duckworth met with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Rock Island District Commander Colonel Steven M. Sattinger to discuss increasing cost sharing and how it will help projects on the Upper Mississippi River System. In the upcoming Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) Reauthorization negotiations, one of Duckworth’s top priorities is increasing inland waterways cost-share for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, increasing the federal share to 75 percent from its current 50 percent for construction and major rehab projects on inland waterways systems.