Things are looking pretty optimistic for new waterways legislation that would authorize upgrading locks and dams on the Upper Mississippi and Illinois Rivers. This week, Illinois Corn Growers Association President Paul Taylor submitted an op-ed to many different Illinois newspapers urging folks to get engaged on this issue.
Here’s Taylor’s op-ed:
An opportunity lies before us in the form of the Water Resources Development Act, commonly called WRDA. Senator Dick Durbin and Senator Mark Kirk will soon have a chance to vote ‘yes’ for WRDA. A ‘yes’ vote is a vote to Keep America Moving as well as to Get America Working!
The WRDA bill is needed to authorize improvements to our waterways infrastructure. This infrastructure (locks and dams) was built in the 1930s and is in a desperate state of disrepair. The construction effort was nothing short of incredible at the time, putting thousands of Americans to work while building a transportation artery that catapulted the United States to the forefront of world trade.
Now we find ourselves in the position of a third-world nation. What once contributed to America’s greatness now serves as a monument to our inability to find consensus and take action.
Our locks and dams have been patched and repaired to the point that not much more can be done. It’s like repairing an old car. Sooner or later, no amount of investment in repairs can return an operable, dependable vehicle.
Upgrades to the locks and dams are what’s needed. What was built 80 years ago was intended to last 50 years. It’s time to retire these systems and put in place locks and dams that will first Get America Working and then Keep America Moving.
Please join Illinois corn farmers in asking Senator Durbin and Senator Kirk to vote yes for WRDA.