Davis, Bost Tour Melvin Price Locks & Dam
Discuss Importance of Water Infrastructure & Upcoming WRDA Reauth
U.S. Reps. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.), and Mike Bost (R-Ill.) members of the House Transportation Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment, today toured Melvin Price Locks and Dam, led by Col. Anthony P. Mitchell, 51st Commander St. Louis District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, in Alton to discuss the importance of water infrastructure in the Metro East area and the upcoming reauthorization of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA).
"Our region’s waterways, chief among them the Mississippi and Illinois rivers, are a critical part of our economy,” said Davis. "We have a responsibility to upgrade and repair our waterways and this begins by reauthorizing a water resources bill every two years. Last Congress, we came together to pass the first water reauthorization in nearly seven years to streamline the approval process, enable the use of public-private partnerships as an alternative tool to move some projects forward, and help address the large backlog of projects. I want to build on these successes in the next bill and continue to cut through red tape that's preventing even greater job growth.”
“As a member of the House Transportation Committee, it’s important to me to see, first hand, the condition of the infrastructure in Southern Illinois,” said Bost. “Today’s meeting with local stakeholders is an important first step in learning the needs of the transportation system, whether it’s in Madison County or other areas of the 12th District. This vast and critical infrastructure impacts the lives of every one of us on a daily basis and is essential to maintaining our economic vitality.”
"Over the past century, Federal, State, local, and tribal governments have made enormous investments in new water infrastructure, including locks and dams, levees, and other improvements," said Col. Mitchell. "However, we must also continue our dialogue regarding responsible, economic, and sustainable ways to fund the operation and maintenance of our aging water infrastructure so that it can safely and reliably serve current and future generations. Reps. Bost and Davis' visit to Melvin Price Locks and Dam allowed them to see first-hand, the importance of the 9' navigation channel and the inland waterway system to our nation's economy."
Following the tour Davis and Bost hosted a roundtable at America’s Central Port in Granite City with local leaders and stakeholders to discuss WRDA and issues facing our waterway systems.
Last Congress passed the first reauthorization of WRDA since 2007 with the goal of passing legislation every two years to provide clear direction and oversight to the administration and the Corps on projects necessary to improving our water infrastructure. The Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment is beginning the reauthorization process by holding hearings focused on reviewing Corps reports and projects.
Davis served on the Conference Committee for the last WRDA reauthorization in 2014 and worked to include language that created a pilot program to allow the Army Corps of Engineers to identify 15 water resources development projects eligible to be financed through public-private partnerships.