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Alexander pushes new funding plan to revive work on Chickamauga lock

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Photo by John Rawlston / Times Free Press Photo by John Rawlston / Times Free Press

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Times Free Press) -- Work on the stalled replacement lock at the Chickamauga Dam in Chattanooga could be revived next year if Congress adopts a Senate plan to change the way the Army Corps of Engineers funds its inland waterway projects.

But without earmarks to designate funding and without the change in a House-passed budget plan, it still will require congressional conferees and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to agree to reactivate the stalled lock project.

U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., said Thursday an alternative method of funding a major corps project on the Ohio River could free up money to revive work on a new and bigger Chickamauga lock. Under the new funding formula included in the energy and water funding bill for fiscal 2013, Alexander said the federal government would assume a bigger share of the ongoing work on the Olmsted Lock and Dam on the Ohio River.

That project is absorbing virtually all of the money in the Inland Waterways Trust Fund, leaving projects like the lock replacements at the Chickamauga and Kentucky locks without any money to proceed.

Read more on the story from our news partners at the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

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