Report Says No Justification for New Locks
Washington, DC – A new report from the National Research Council says the Army Corps of Engineers still hasn't justified why new, longer locks should be built on the Mississippi River.
The panel says grain exports probably won't grow enough justify spending $1.5 billion to replace aging Mississippi and Illinois river locks, or gateways.
The corps has maintained that the longer locks are needed for barges to get grain and other cargo to the Gulf of Mexico quicker.
The nation's leading corn and soybean producers are Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin. They rely on the Mississippi River as the cheapest route for shipping to export markets.
The Corps has tried for more than a decade to replace the locks. The project stalled after a whistle-blower claimed the Corps made up its reasons why the project is needed.