More money could be on its way for Chickamauga Lock - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

More money could be on its way for Chickamauga Lock

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Money needed to reconstruct the Chickamauga Lock is nearly in place to allow crews to possibly start work next year.  The funding for a new lock has been up in the air, but a vote last month could get the project back on track. The Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development approved 29-million dollars to restart lock construction. About a million tons of freight go through the lock yearly. U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander, who chairs the subcommittee, says funding has hit hurdles in years past, but this year was different.

Senator Lamar Alexander, (R) Tennessee, "There wasn't enough money in the current year, but in the last year, Congress raised the fee that barges pay as they pass through the lock, so this year what we're doing in both the Senate and the House is appropriating enough taxpayer money."

Alexander says the money put about 700-million dollars into President Obama's budget for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Funding will be available starting October 1st and reconstruction will take several years.  The lock is fourth on the high priority list of essential American waterways.

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