Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Report says better maintenance of locks and dams would reduce huge rehabilitation costs

There is little consensus about how to improve the beleaguered system of locks and dams on U.S. waterways even though significant changes need to be made to make long-term improvements to waterway infrastructure, Sara Wyant of Agri-Pulse reports. A recent Texas Transportation Institute and Center for Ports and Waterways study includes input from several groups and discusses several solutions for improving locks and dams.

Waterways are important transportation routes for agriculture and several other industries, with millions of tons of crops floated down inland waterways annually for export. It's estimated that major rehabilitation will be necessary at all 171 U.S. lock sites within the next 50 years. One approach suggested in the report, "New Approaches for U.S. Lock and Dam Maintenance and Funding," to update waterway infrastructure would be to encourage greater maintenance instead of new construction of locks and dams. This approach would include routine checks and preventative measures at locks and dams. (Read more)

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