Kirk seeks added investments in Great Lakes navigation system
U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) is leading the charge to ensure the Great Lakes navigation system remains an economic driver for the region.
Kirk, who co-chairs the Senate's Great Lakes Task Force, led 10 Great Lakes senators in drafting and forwarding a letter to the Army Corps of Engineers on Friday, urging the corps to invest dollars and manpower into infrastructure projects.
The senators asked the Army Corps of Engineers to reduce the backlog of maintenance projects that prove hazardous to the region.
“The Great Lakes provide an essential transportation network for the movement of products, such as road salt, iron and steel products, coal, and agricultural commodities for domestic and international consumption,” the senators wrote. “However, the Great Lakes infrastructure lacks adequate maintenance and the efficiency of the system is threatened by a growing backlog of dredging needs, aging locks, and deteriorating breakwaters, piers and jetties. We need to modernize and rebuild this infrastructure in order to realize the full economic potential the Great Lakes provide.”
U.S. Sens. Rob Portman (R-OH), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Al Franken (D-MN), Gary Peters (D-MI), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Joe Donnelly (D-IN) and Ron Johnson (R-WI) also signed the letter.
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