Duckworth, Durbin Tout Benefits of Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal in Visit to Brandon Road Lock and Dam
[JOLIET, IL] – U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) today visited the Brandon Road Lock and Dam, highlighting how the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal (BID) is already at work to help improve infrastructure and create good-paying, local jobs across Illinois. As a result of BID, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recently allocated funding for the Brandon Road Project that will help protect invasive Asian Carp from reaching the Great Lakes, which is critical to protecting our inland waterways and economy. Photos from today’s meeting are available here.
“Support for the Brandon Road Project is just another example of how the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal is already helping Illinoisans and creating jobs, and how it will improve our lives for years to come,” Duckworth said. “The Brandon Road Project is critical in protecting the Great Lakes’ exposure to Asian Carp, a growing threat to our entire inland waterways system and to the countless Illinois communities and businesses that rely on strong and vibrant aquatic ecosystems. I’m pleased to see support from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal to ensure this project can continue to protect our waterways.
“The threat of invasive Asian Carp to the economic and environmental resources of the Great Lakes is real and must be addressed,” Durbin said. “I’ve worked with my delegation colleagues and a wide coalition of stakeholders for more than a decade to push this project forward. From forcing the Trump Administration to release the original study for the project, to authorizing design and construction, to appropriating the first design funding, it has been an uphill battle to get here. I join Senator Duckworth in welcoming this major investment which demonstrates President Biden’s commitment to protecting the Great Lakes from the threat of invasive species. We’ll continue to work to get this project over the finish line.”
Duckworth and Durbin were joined today by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Rock Island District Commander Col. Jesse Curry, Illinois Department of Natural Resources Director Colleen Callahan, Alliance for the Great Lakes COO Molly M. Flanagan, Will County Executive Jennifer Bertino Tarrant and other local leaders.
“The investment by the Army Corps of Engineers will modernize the infrastructure on the Des Plaines River,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “This multi-year project will provide a much-needed improvement to the Brandon Road Lock and Dam and help protect Will County’s ecosystem.”
“Invasive carp could devastate the Great Lakes and the region’s economy. Fortifying the Brandon Road Lock and Dam in Joliet, IL, a critical chokepoint about 50 miles downstream of Chicago, gives us the best chance to keep these fish out of the lakes,” Flanagan said. “Funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is a historic step forward for this critically needed project that will stop invasive carp from reaching Lake Michigan. The Alliance for the Great Lakes thanks Senators Durbin and Duckworth and other members of the Great Lakes congressional delegation and the Biden Administration for their strong support for this project.”
Duckworth and Durbin have been tireless advocates for the Brandon Road Project and finding a comprehensive approach to protect the Great Lakes from the threat of Asian Carp. Through previous Water Resources Development Acts, Duckworth and Durbin have helped secure authorization for design and construction of the Brandon Road Project and increased the federal cost-share for the project, bringing down the cost for Illinois taxpayers.
Earlier this month, USACE allocated $225.8 million through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal to the Brandon Road Project. The project will construct a new engineered channel at Brandon Road that will be used to test and deploy a range of technologies that will prevent Asian Carp from moving further north to the Great Lakes. The funding announced will allow the Corps to complete design on the project and begin construction.
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