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Foster Applauds Passage Of Bipartisan Legislation To Maintain And Develop Waterways Infrastructure

Jun 10, 2014
Press Release

Washington, DC – Today, Congressman Bill Foster (IL-11) applauded the enactment of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA).  The legislation was passed by both houses of Congress and was signed into law today by the President.  WRRDA authorizes the Army Corps of Engineers to construct and maintain infrastructure on the Inland Waterways System.  Several facilities in Illinois’ 11th District are funded through WRRDA, including the Brandon Road Lock and Dam.

“I am pleased that the Water Resources Reform and Development Act was passed and signed into law with strong bipartisan support,” said Foster. “This funding for the construction and maintenance of our waterways infrastructure is essential for facilities in our region.   Last year I had the opportunity to tour the Brandon Road Lock and Dam in Joliet and see first-hand the need for maintenance and infrastructure improvements. The legislation signed into law today will support commerce and the safety of our inland waterways infrastructure.”

The Brandon Road Lock and Dam is an essential part of the inland waterways system in northern Illinois, which supports many forms of commerce.  In 2011, Nearly 11 million tons of freight passed through the Des Plaines River facility which connects the Illinois River to Lake Michigan.  Freight transported on the river includes coal, petroleum, chemicals, manufactured goods, machinery and agricultural products.

The new law extends current efforts, including electric barrier technology, to prevent Asian Carp and other invasive species from reaching Lake Michigan while allowing barge traffic to continue on the Sanitary and Ship Canal.