Appropriations from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which passed in 2021 with bipartisan support, will soon be funding upgrades to infrastructure projects important to corn growers.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced today it would allocate $2.2 billion from the infrastructure legislation to repair and update the following locks along the Upper Mississippi River System:
- Kentucky Lock along the Tennessee River, near Grand Rivers, Kentucky.
- Montgomery Lock on the Ohio River, 30 miles south of Pittsburgh.
- Lock and Dam 25 on the Upper Mississippi River, north of St. Louis.
- Three Rivers Lock along the Ohio River, southwest of Pittsburgh.
- T.J. O’Brien Lock and Dam along the Illinois River.
“Corn growers depend on America’s rivers to import supplies, like fertilizers, which play an important part in planting and harvesting our crops,” said Iowa farmer and NCGA President Chris Edgington. “These rivers are also important in shipping our products to key markets in the U.S. and abroad. When barges are delayed because of problems with aging locks and dams, farmers are economically affected.”
Lock and Dam 25 is crucially important Edgington noted, as 60% of America’s corn and soybean exports are transported on the Mississippi River.
An aging system – many of the locks were constructed between 1907 and 1936 – has led to delays and closures along the river. Farmers often feel the economic impact of these problems, and the funding will help ensure the river system’s long-term viability.
“We are thankful for the efforts of our state corn growers who worked closely with their members of Congress to make this happen,” he said. “NCGA is also appreciative of our congressional allies who made sure this funding was included in the infrastructure plan.”