U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), U.S. Congressman Jim Cooper (D-TN-05) and Nashville Mayor Bill Purcell today praised the Nashville Riverfront Redevelopment Plan at a press conference on the Shelby Street Bridge, and called upon the Senate to approve legislation to authorize funding for this and other projects across Tennessee.
“I asked for federal funding to support Mayor Purcell’s effort to revitalize the Nashville waterfront, and Congress is poised to authorize $10 million,” said Alexander. “Congressman Cooper and I are working together to pass this legislation and bring new investment to strengthen infrastructure and jobs to Music City, as well as make sure the Wolf Creek Dam is safe and that communities downstream are safe from flooding. Congress should set limits on spending while using dollars to improve our nation’s infrastructure – that’s what we’re doing here in Nashville.”
“These projects should be approved at a crucial moment for Middle Tennessee,” said Cooper. “Wolf Creek Dam continues to need repairs in order to protect areas downstream, including downtown Nashville, from a potentially devastating flood. Meanwhile, we can improve the quality of life for all Middle Tennesseans by providing new recreational opportunities, redeveloping our waterfront while protecting the environment, and strengthening the infrastructure that keeps water safe and clean. This goes to show Congress can both be fiscally responsible and do work that makes a positive difference in our communities.”
“Thanks to the efforts of Sen. Alexander, Sen. Corker, Congressman Cooper and the other members of the Tennessee delegation, Nashville is a big step closer to having a world-class waterfront that will be an environmental, recreational, and economic development asset,” said Purcell. “I’m deeply grateful for their work, and for the work of the scores of Nashvillians who helped develop the Riverfront Plan. Passage of this bill will be proof that the federal government, city officials and citizens can cooperate for the betterment of communities.”
Senator Alexander and Congressman Cooper have supported the Water Resources Development Act of 2007—legislation that authorizes funding for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and helps give the Corps the ability to make long-term contract agreements and allocate its budget efficiently. The U.S. House of Representatives has passed this legislation, and the Senate may take up this bill as early as September.
In addition to the $10 million for the Nashville Riverfront, projects in the bill for the Fifth Congressional District include:
-Support for Wolf Creek Dam repairs being classified as necessary for safety, continued efforts to maintain power production, and efforts to prevent seepage and dam failure;
-A study on how to provide riverbank protection and environmental protection while carrying out recreation on the Cumberland River in Nashville;
-U.S. Army Corps of Engineers planning, design and construction of a trail system at the J. Percy Priest Lake:
-$5 million for water supply and wastewater infrastructure projects in the East Nashville Basin; and
-Removal of land use restrictions for camping and recreation on land transferred to Easter Seals Tennessee next to the Cumberland River.
Alexander sits on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, which approved the legislation in April. The House of Representatives passed the bill on August 1, 2007 with Cooper’s support.