Corps releases inland waterways spend plan

Written by Marine Log Staff
Lock and dam

Construction at Lock and Dam 25 will result in a new 1,200 foot x 110 foot lock chamber being built adjacent to the existing 600 foot chamber. [USACE photograph]

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has released its spend plans, outlining the Civil Works studies, projects and programs that the Corps will implement in Fiscal Year 2022.

The plans include $22.81 billion in supplemental funding provided in two recently enacted laws—the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the 2022 Disaster Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act—allocated funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (Infrastructure Package).

According to the Waterways Council Inc., the spend plans will fund the following inland navigation construction projects at $2.22 billion:

  • Kentucky Lock (Tennessee River): $465.49 million (funded to completion)
  • Montgomery Lock (Ohio River): $857.71 million (funded to completion)
  • Lock and Dam 25 (Upper Mississippi River) (Navigation & Ecosystem Sustainability Program (NESP): $732 million (funded to completion)
  • Three Rivers (Arkansas River): $109.15 million (spend plan summary lists this as funded to completion, but the project is authorized for $184.39
  • T.J. O’Brien Lock and Dam (Illinois Waterway), (Major Rehabilitation): $52.52 million (funded to completion)
  • Additionally, as part of the ecosystem restoration component of NESP, component, a fish passage at Lock 22 is funded at $97.10 million to complete the design and to initiate construction.

“Today’s release of inland waterways infrastructure funds will not only advance the inland waterways construction portfolio but also create thousands of skilled jobs for America’s building trades, make American farmers more competitive, and promote energy security,” said WCI President/CEO Tracy Zea. “WCI thanks its members and supporters on Capitol Hill, who helped to push this funding over the goal line.”

“This morning’s announcement is the result of years of determined and persistent advocacy by agriculture, the barge and towing industry, and a variety of other inland waterway stakeholders,” said Mike Steenhoek, executive director, Soy Transportation Coalition. “The Waterways Council, in particular, provided effective leadership in helping make this a reality. Numerous elected officials throughout the Midwest were consequential in this project finally receiving the green light.”


Agricultural interests, including the Soy Transportation Coalition, were especially pleased that Lock and Dam 25 funding was included in the spend plan.

Located in Winfield, Mo., Lock and Dam 25 was opened in 1939 is the most southern lock and dam on the Mississippi River. Almost every shipment of soybeans, corn, and other grain transported along the Mississippi River from the states of Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, and Wisconsin passes through Lock and Dam 25 en route to export facilities near the Gulf of Mexico.

Construction at Lock and Dam 25 will result in a new 1,200- by 110-foot lock chamber being built adjacent to the existing 600- by 110-foot lock chamber. This would enable a typical fifteen barge tow to transit the lock in one single pass (a 30-45 minute process) compared to disassembling the barge tow into two sections, which will result in two passes (over two hours).

In addition, a second lock will provide needed resiliency and redundancy—allowing a key link in the supply chain to remain operational if one of the lock chambers was closed.

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