Tricia Braid

Apr 19, 2017  |  Today's News |  ICGA |  Locks and Dams

BLOOMINGTON, Ill.— Illinois Corn Growers Association (ICGA) appreciates Senator Tammy Duckworth’s (IL-D) outspoken support for investments in our waterways infrastructure systems, especially the locks and dams on the Upper Mississippi and Illinois Rivers.

Earlier this week, Senator Duckworth visited Melvin Price locks and dam in Alton, Ill. After her visit, in a written statement, the Senator said, “Melvin Price Locks and Dam is an example of how improving our lock-and-dam systems today supports our economy tomorrow. Investing in Illinois’ outdated locks-and-dams along the Upper Mississippi River will help ensure that Illinois companies remain competitive and will make it easier for businesses and farmers to move their products across the nation.”

“We couldn’t agree more,” said ICGA President Justin Durdan, of Utica. “The river system in Illinois adds value to the Illinois corn crop. But just as easily as the value can be added, it can be lost if the waterways become unreliable or unusable.”

“In these times of tight margins on the farm, we cannot afford to see opportunity costs on the river due to preventable infrastructure failures. That’s why securing funding for the improvements to the system is one of our top priorities,” Durdan continued.

“We are hopeful that President Trump will include the locks and dams on the Upper Mississippi and Illinois Rivers in his Administration’s Infrastructure Plan,” said Durdan. “Senator Duckworth’s continued public support of the issue helps to raise the visibility and encourages a bipartisan approach, which totally makes sense for something as basic as waterways infrastructure improvements.”

A recent study commissioned by the National Waterways Foundation confirms, yet again, the economic and environmental value of our inland waterways system. It is a system that serves all Americans, with cargo from grain to petroleum to road salt traveling in a safe, efficient manner on our waterways.

“Our nation’s waterways are our country’s most environmentally friendly, fuel efficient and safe transportation alternative,” Durdan added. “We’re calling on President Trump to recognize this very important piece of the nation's transportation future by including the proposed upgrades in his Infrastructure Plan.”

About ICGA

Illinois Corn Growers Association is a state-based organization that represents the interests of corn farmers in Illinois, maintaining a high profile on issues in Washington, DC, and Springfield, IL. They aim to create and maintain opportunities for Illinois corn farmers to capture more value for their product. To fulfill this mission, the organization conducts governmental affairs activities at all levels, market development projects, and educational and member service programs. For further information regarding their work and involvement, visit their website www.ilcorn.org.