After years (ALL WE WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS LOCKS & DAMS), and years (MR PRESIDENT, WHERE ARE THE LOCKS AND DAMS?), and years (WHY ARE THERE STILL NO NEW LOCKS AND DAMS?) of waiting for funding, we got the first GREAT NEWS on locks and dams last week!
The best news of all is that the government finally appropriated some funding to fix the LaGrange Lock and Dam.
THIS. IS. HUGE.
You might remember, the LaGrange Lock and Dam is the worst out of all of the locks that need repair on the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers. It is the one with concrete literally falling into the river.
IL Corn was elated to read Congressmen Davis and LaHood’s release announcing the funding, and was especially proud to be a part of the forward momentum for updated locks in Illinois.
“Moving forward with updating LaGrange is long-awaited great news for Illinois corn farmers who have been advocating for such improvements for decades”, said Aron Carlson President of the Illinois Corn Growers Association. “Everyone knows LaGrange is a ticking timebomb for some type of failure. More than a third of Illinois’ corn production is exported via the inland waterways, so to say any disruption or closure on the system is costly to producers is an understatement.”
In other good news, we also were finally able to share with our Board of Directors last week that the Olmsted Lock and Dam has scheduled an opening date! This project has been perhaps the longest and largest civil works project in the history of the Corps of Engineers. Multiple delays, especially in funding have created a 30 year endeavor that has been inflated from a $700+ million price tag to over $3 billion in early 2018.
IL Corn is so happy – elated even – to check this big lock and dam project off the list. The Olmsted Lock and Dam will officially begin locking barges on August 29, 2018.
Nothing feels better than knowing we’re moving forward in our goals, especially when these forward movements will help Illinois corn farmers (and the rest of the nation) stay competitive with other countries.
ICGA/ICMB Marketing Director