Alexander: Bill to Help Keep Chickamauga Lock Construction On Schedule Heads to President

Posted on October 10, 2018

WASHINGTON, October 10, 2018 – United States Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said a bill heads to President Trump’s desk that will ensure construction of Chickamauga Lock can stay on schedule in the coming years.

“Passage of the America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 is one way the federal government can help improve water infrastructure, which helps protect jobs and industry in Tennessee and throughout the country by keeping commerce flowing on our nation’s rivers. I look forward to President Trump signing this legislation into law,” Alexander said. “The legislation authorizes the funding necessary to continue construction of Chickamauga Lock, which will help ensure the project is completed on time. Separately, this year, Congress also worked hard to provide record funding for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to ensure we could keep federal lock and dam projects funded for the fifth consecutive year, which is important for Chickamauga Lock after the project was restarted in 2015.”

Alexander has made completion of Chickamauga Lock one of his top priorities as chairman of the Senate Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee, which is responsible for recommending funding levels for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Alexander continued, “This bill is also a victory for Tennessee’s fishermen – it extends the Freedom to Fish Act for five more years. Generations of fishermen have been fishing on the dams on the Cumberland River ever since they have been built, and this legislation ensures Tennesseans continue to have the freedom to decide for themselves when it is safe to fish rather than wasting taxpayer dollars to unnecessarily close off important fishing areas.”

In 2013, Alexander introduced the Freedom to Fish Act with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), and Senators Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Bob Corker (R-Tenn.). The legislation prohibited the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from using physical barriers to restrict access to fishing areas below 10 dams on the Cumberland River in Tennessee and Kentucky.

The America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 authorizes funding to improve locks and dams, dredge rivers and harbors, prevent floods and storm damage, and conduct environmental restoration projects. The House passed the America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 on September 13, 2018. The legislation now heads to the president’s desk to become law.