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Senate Committee OKs River Lock Improvements

By AP/KWMU

Washington – A U.S. Senate committee endorsed a bill Tuesday with more than $3 billion for navigation improvements and eco-system restoration on the upper Mississippi River and the Illinois River.

The measure is sponsored by Senator Kit Bond of Missouri.

It would be part of legislation to authorize new Corps of Engineers projects nation-wide.

The Sierra Club and other environmental groups claim the measure would create the most expensive water-way project boondoggle in U.S. history.

But Bond says modernizing the lock and dam system will produce economic benefits now.

The chairman of the Environmental and Public Works Committee, Oklahoma's James Inhofe, says the Water Resources Development Act could come up for a full Senate vote as early as next month.

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