House T&I Committee approves Water Resources Development Act

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Image (C) Architect of the Capitol

H.R. 7575, the Water Resources Development Act of 2020 (WRDA), was reported out of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee today, drawing approval from both the American Waterways Operators (AWO) and the Waterways Council Inc. (WCI).

“The bill contains many favorable provisions that will enhance American waterways infrastructure and facilitate the flow of commercial navigation,” notes AWO, “including changing the cost share for inland waterway infrastructure projects from the current 50%/50% split to a more favorable ratio of 65% federal and 35% Inland Waterways Trust Fund.”

AWO says the bill would also halt interception and rearing complexes on the Missouri River pending additional research; increase the federal cost share for the Brandon Road Asian carp construction projects to 80%; and amend Sec. 1111 of WRDA 2018 to expand a regional dredge pilot program and allow the Army Corps of Engineers to send dredges to areas affected by high or low water events.

Waterways Council Inc. says that the change in cost share related to construction and major rehabilitation of inland waterways projects addresses its top WRDA priority, noting that the bill’s cost-share adjustment sunsets at the end of Fiscal Year 2027 with a provision that any project that begins construction within this timeframe will carry the 65%/35% cost-share all the way through to the end of its construction.

The bill also authorizes the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, Brazos River Floodgates and Colorado River Locks. notes WCI..

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