Look ahead to the year 2090. That's a year when most of us won't be around anymore. According to Great River Economic Development Foundation Director Marcel Wagner, that's also the year to expect improvements to local locks and dams.
Wagner says the date of 2090 is what he's been given by the Army Corps of Engineers. It's a date he and other local leaders find unacceptable. He says the budget for repairs and upgrades has been repeatedly cut since 1990 and the locks are already old and subject to breakdowns.
Wagner says maintaining a steady flow of traffic on the Upper Mississippi is vital to many businesses.
"ADM here in Quincy uses a large amount of barge traffic," Wagner said. "There's been new development in Iowa with the fertilizer plant up in Lee County that's going to be dependent to a large extent on barge traffic."
Wagner and other leaders from Missouri, Illinois, and Iowa plan to urge Congress to pass the 2013 Water Resources and Development Act, and place a higher priority on the locks and dams.
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