Lindsay Mitchell and Dan Obert
New Lock and Dam Start Expected in FY21
This week, the House Appropriations Committee approved a FY21 budget for Energy and Water Development that would include funding for one new project for inland waterways lock and dam modernization. This signals the potential for a new start in the Upper Mississippi River Basin in FY21.
The approved budget funds the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers $7.63 billion, a decrease of $21 million from FY20’s record-setting appropriated level, but $1.7 billion above the President’s FY21 budget request.
The Inland Waterways Trust Fund funding level is $90 million for a total of at least $180 million in funding for Construction and Major Rehabilitation of inland waterways projects.
New Cost Structure
The House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure voted the Water Resources Development Act of 2020 (WRDA 2020) favorably out of Committee. The bill adjusts the cost-share for construction and major rehabilitation of inland waterways projects. Previously the cost-share was 50 percent from the general fund of the Treasury and 50 percent from the Inland Waterways Trust Fund. Now the cost-share moves to 65 percent from the general fund of the Treasury and 35 percent from the Inland Waterways Trust Fund.
The cost-share shift is a top priority for IL Corn.
Illinois Lock Closure Update
The Illinois Waterway Consolidated Lock Closures are officially underway! July 1, the first miter gates were pulled at Starved Rock Lock and Dam in Ottawa, Illinois. Both the upper and lower miter gates will be replaced at Starved Rock during the closure.