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Bustos, Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Visit Rock Island Arsenal to Discuss Inland Waterway Infrastructure Needs

October 23, 2021   Foreign Affairs

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Source: United States House of Representatives – Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17)


ROCK ISLAND — Today, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack visited the Rock Island Arsenal for a tour of Lock and Dam 15 on the Mississippi River with the Army Corps of Engineers to highlight the importance of inland waterways to agriculture and the nation’s supply chain. 


“Often, when people talk about infrastructure, they talk about roads and bridges. But our economy – and our family farmers – depend on other critical infrastructure, like our inland waterways,” said Congresswoman Bustos. “Investing in the upgrade and modernization of our inland waterways is necessary – and it’s just one reason we need to pass the bipartisan infrastructure package, which includes an additional $2.5 billion for the construction, rehabilitation and expansion of our inland waterways projects.”


During the visit, Congresswoman Bustos and Secretary Vilsack discussed the $22.5 million Bustos secured in the U.S. House-passed Energy & Water appropriations bill for beginning construction on the Navigation and Ecosystem Sustainability Program (NESP), which would modernize and expand seven outdated locks and restore ecosystems along the Upper Mississippi River.


Last Congress, Congresswoman Bustos successfully pushed the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to provide the first funding in a decade for this program. In FY20, the Corps invested $4.5 million for preconstruction engineering and design (PED) for NESP, and in FY21, the project received $5 million for additional PED work.