PEORIA - Infrastructure along the Illinois and Mississippi rivers is in need of billions of dollars in maintenance.
Wednesday Senator Dick Durbin, Senator Mark Kirk and Representative Cheri Bustos introduced legislation to congress that aims to fix those problems.
The bill would partner public municipalities and private companies for help funding projects, which would include modernizing the locks and dams on the Illinois River.
Part of the bill would be to introduce a pilot program to identify problem areas.
The Army Corps of Engineers estimates $60-billion in backlog of outstanding projects. Peoria's lock and dam is one of the places in need of an upgrade.
"Some of the challenges that some of our structures are facing specifically Peoria, being a facility that was built in 1939. We've got over 36-million dollars worth of back log work that needs to be accomplished at that lock," said Robert Germann, operations manager for Illinois Waterways Rock Island District for the Army Corps of Engineers.
Germann said billions of dollars worth of commerce flows along the Illinois river. He said the older locks and dams slow down business and affect the water used by towns along its banks.
Meet The Team
Take a moment to meet WMBD 31's team. Click here to learn more about the people who are "Taking Action for You!"