Chickamauga Lock could get funding to re-start construction - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Chickamauga Lock gets funding to re-start construction

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Kayakers paddle into the Chickamauga Lock. Kayakers paddle into the Chickamauga Lock.

The often-delayed construction of the Chickamauga Lock has been given a green light as the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee approved the Energy & Water Appropriations Bill Tuesday.

U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), serves as chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy & Water Development. In a news release, Alexander's office said there is bipartisan support for “energy research, waterways and national security.”

“Governing is about setting priorities, and this legislation supports energy research, waterways and national security,” Alexander said.

The bill prioritizes re-starting construction on the Chickamauga Lock, which could begin in fiscal year 2016.

Because of the Chickamauga Lock's high position on the priority list of essential American waterways to be rebuilt, $29 million will be available to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, funding sufficient to re-start construction.

The rehabilitation work on the lock began in 2003, and was originally scheduled to be completed by 2014. 

But budget restrictions and growing construction costs kept delaying the lock's construction, which could be unusable for safety reasons in the very near future.

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