Alexander says rebuilding lock would allow 6.7 million tons of cargo to move through, improve use of Tennessee waterways and highway system
Posted on May 1, 2013
“Fixing Chickamauga Lock is essential to creating good jobs for Tennesseans in a competitive world, and this legislation would accomplish that goal by making such critical infrastructure a priority.” – Lamar Alexander
CHATTANOOGA, May 1 – U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today announced that the week of May 6, the Senate is scheduled to vote on the Water Resources Development Act, which includes parts of Alexander’s previously introduced American Waterworks Act that provides a path for fixing Chickamauga Lock.
“Fixing Chickamauga Lock is essential to creating good jobs for Tennesseans in a competitive world, and this legislation would accomplish that goal by making such critical infrastructure a priority,” Alexander said. “We can allow 6.7 million tons of cargo to move through the lock, and take 100,000 heavy trucks off of Interstate 75 in the process – improving the use of both our waterways and highway system. All we need to do is make sure Chickamauga Lock gets the crucial support its commercial users agree that it needs.”
Currently, Chickamauga Lock is composed of aging and severely deteriorating concrete. Infrastructure projects like rebuilding Chickamauga Lock are funded by the Inland Waterways Trust Fund, which draws on fees that commercial users report and pay themselves.
The legislation would prioritize funding for Chickamauga Lock in two ways. It would remove the requirement that Inland Waterways Trust Fund money go toward Olmsted Lock, an Ohio River project that Alexander said has “soaked up almost 90 percent of fund revenues.” It would also restate a capital development plan that outlines priorities for the fund.
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