U.S. Reps. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) and Darin LaHood (R-Ill.) today announced the Trump Administration will provide the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers with $57.5 million in Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 funding to continue major rehabilitation work at the LaGrange Lock and Dam (Versailles, IL) located on the Illinois River south of Beardstown, IL in Cass County. Earlier this year, Davis and LaHood announced the initial $10 million allocated for FY 2018 to begin this project.
“I am very pleased to see this administration continue to invest in critical navigation infrastructure like LaGrange," said Davis. "Frequent shutdowns at LaGrange continue to have a negative impact on our region’s economy and this investment will ensure farmers and other users of our waterways have access to this critical mode of transporting and exporting what they grow and produce.”
“Our lock and dam systems on the Illinois River are critically important in getting our products to market and rehabilitation projects like this are much needed to ensure products can move effectively and efficiently around the world. Inland waterway systems are vital to our agriculture economy in central and west-central Illinois and I was pleased to work alongside my friend Rodney Davis to ensure the $57.5 million was included for the La Grange Lock in the FY 2019 Work plan,” stated LaHood.
Background on LaGrange
The LaGrange Lock is the southernmost lock on the Illinois River and accommodates a heavy amount of barge traffic, the majority of which includes agricultural commodities. It was placed into service in 1939 and currently requires major rehabilitation of concrete, electrical, and mechanical systems. The lock last underwent major rehabilitation work in 1988. More than 60 percent of all U.S. grain exports move through locks on the Upper Mississippi and Illinois Rivers including LaGrange, but due to their age, reliability has become a significant issue in recent years.