In the News

Release: LaHood Applauds Inclusion of Funding for River Infrastructure Upgrades in Energy and Water Bill

June 20, 2023   Rep. Darin LaHood (R, IL-16)

View Source

Press Release | June 20, 2023

Contact: John Rauber | 202.603.0152


LaHood Applauds Inclusion of Funding for River Infrastructure Upgrades in Energy and Water Bill

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Darin LaHood (IL-16) applauded the inclusion of $75 million in the FY2024 House Energy and Water Appropriations bill to upgrade the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers’ navigation infrastructure. LaHood was joined by U.S. Representatives Eric Sorensen (D-IL-17), Sam Graves (R-MO-06), Nikki Budzinski (D-IL-13), and Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO-03).


“In central and northwestern Illinois, the inland water waterway system and locks and dams infrastructure are vital to the economic and environmental sustainability of our communities,” said Congressman LaHood. “Inclusion of our funding request for the Upper Mississippi River and Illinois Waterway in the FY24 House Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill is a win for Illinois, especially in our rural and downstate communities. I am proud to continue our strong, bipartisan support for these important Illinois resources.” 

"This historic investment in Illinois' waterway infrastructure would help our state's agriculture and economy boom like never before, solidifying our region as a leader in producing the corn and soybeans that feed the world," said Congressman Sorensen. "I'm urging the House and Senate to swiftly pass the bill with this critical funding to support our farmers and working families across Central and Northwestern Illinois.”


“The outdated locks and dams on the Upper Mississippi River lead to delays and congestion that cost farmers and families untold millions,” said Congressman Graves. “The fact that the Energy and Water appropriations subcommittee mark includes funding for the bipartisan project to upgrade these locks and dams is a big deal. It also continues to build on momentum for the project that’s been hard won in recent years. While we’re a long ways from the finish line, we’re going to continue fighting to make sure this funding moves forward.”


“Family farmers in Central and Southern Illinois rely on the Mississippi River to transport their commodities to the global market. But the locks and dams they depend on are nearly a century old,” said Congresswoman Budzinski. “By modernizing our inland waterway infrastructure, we can help our family farmers get their corn and soybeans to market more quickly and ensure that these critical transportation routes are sound for years to come. I’m proud to have worked on a bipartisan basis with Representatives LaHood, Sorensen, Graves and Luetkemeyer to secure $75 million to upgrade our locks and dams, and I look forward to continuing to work to bring our waterways into the 21st century.”


“Missouri’s Third District is home to several major waterways, including the Upper Mississippi River. These waterways play a critical role in our state’s trade, agriculture, tourism, and larger economy. This funding provides critical improvements to locks and dams on the Upper Mississippi River to keep commerce flowing. I’m hopeful our momentum with this bipartisan, multi-state effort will continue so we can deliver these important resources to our area,” said Congressman Luetkemeyer.


This funding will support the Navigation and Ecosystem Sustainability Program (NESP), a long-term program of navigation improvements and ecosystem restoration for the Upper Mississippi River System (UMRS).

This investment will reduce traffic delays along waterways and increase shipping capacity by constructing new 1,200-foot locks at locks 20 through 25 on the Mississippi River, as well as updating locks in Peoria and LaGrange on the Illinois River. By constructing new locks and upgrading outdated ones, agricultural goods will be exported faster and more efficiently.

This funding was requested as part of the Community Project Funding process, which allows members of Congress to designate funding for critical initiatives through the appropriations process. NESP funding is included in the House Appropriations Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies bill, one of twelve appropriations bills passed each year by Congress.

Next the funding heads to the Full Appropriations Committee for approval and then to the House floor.