Illinois has a unique position on the Illinois, Mississippi and Ohio Rivers that gives it a comparative advantage when it comes to exporting goods. In fact, while the largest market for corn nationally is livestock feed, followed very closely by ethanol, the largest market for Illinois corn is export markets.
But that competitive advantage is soon to mean nothing unless improvements, repairs, and upgrades to the locks and dams on the river are completed.
Lock and dam upgrades are mostly unfunded. But continuing in the tradition of huge governmental efficiency lags, when lock and dam improvements are funded, the time and money needed to complete just one project seem to get larger and larger.
Consider the Olmstead Lock and Dam near Metropolis, IL on the Ohio River. Initially funded in the 80s, this lock and dam STILL isn’t finished. And in the President’s budget released on Monday, an additional 800,000 million dollars was appropriated to finish this project. This project, by the way, is so plagued by governmental inefficiency that there are portions of the lock completed, having never been used, that already need repair. WHAT?
Check out the statement released on this by Illinois Corn Growers Association immediate past president, Jim Reed.