Locks and dams matter.
Improving the Illinois, Mississippi, and Ohio River system has been an Illinois Corn Growers Association priority for over 20 years. Waterways infrastructure gives Illinois farmers and other Illinois industries a competitive advantage over other states in transportation of grain and other agricultural products. However, in the last 50 years, these locks and dams have become dilapidated and outdated. The crumbling lock and dam system costs Illinois corn farmers every day in lost efficiency getting their product to global marketplaces.
Improving our lock and dam system NOW is critical not only for Illinois farmers but also for all Illinois citizens, for our country, and for our world.
Ensuring Cleaner Air: Inland waterways transport generates fewer emissions than rail or truck. The emission comparison between inland towing, rail and truck transportation shows that fewer air pollutants are generated by moving products on American’s inland navigation system.
Saving Energy: Transporting freight by water is the most energy-efficient choice. The most energy-efficient way to move commodities such as coal, grain, iron, steel, aggregates, petroleum and chemical products is to use the nation’s navigable rivers. Barges can move one ton of cargo 576 miles per gallon of fuel. A rail car would move the same ton of cargo 413 miles, and a truck only 155 miles.
Protecting Communities: Inland waterways transport moves hazardous materials safely. All transport modes work hard to prevent accidents, human errors and other causes of spills, including groundings in the case of barge transportation. Overall, spill rates are very low – with trucks losing only 6.06 gallons per one million ton-miles, rail cars only 3.86 gallons and barges 3.6 gallons per one million ton-miles.