U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) says the Army Corps of Engineers Work Plan for Fiscal Year 2017 includes good news for all of East Tennessee – and everyone who benefits from river traffic passing through the Chickamauga Lock in Chattanooga.
In addition to funding slated for the first three priority projects of the Inland Waterways Trust Fund, the Corps of Engineers’ Work Plan includes $37 million to continue construction of the new Chickamauga Lock, which restarted in 2015 after years of delay. The Corps had originally estimated that only $19 million might be available for Chickamauga Lock this fiscal year.
"This funding will continue construction of Chickamauga Lock for the third consecutive year, which is good news for not only Chattanooga, but for all of East Tennessee because it will help keep 150,000 trucks off I-75 and keep the cost of shipping goods low for and manufacturers across the state,” Alexander said. “This year, members of the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittees worked hard to ensure we could keep federal lock and dam projects funded, and I'm glad we accomplished that goal."
The final version of the Fiscal year 2017 Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill provided $6.038 billion to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – a record funding level in a regular appropriations bill. The bill made full use of the Inland Waterways Trust Fund revenues for water infrastructure projects.
Alexander serves as the chairman of the U.S. Senate Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee.