Environmentalists Blast Corps' Locks Program
Washington – Critics say the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers doesn't need to spend more than $2 billion to replace locks on the upper Mississippi and Illinois rivers.
But the corps is proceeding with the replacement project anyway.
The agency's commander, Lieutenant General Robert Flowers, told The Associated Press he's moving ahead because the system "is limping along" and could suffer a catastrophic breakdown.
Opponents of the massive construction project released a study Tuesday based on the corps' own data and documents. They say river traffic is declining rather than growing.
Scott Faber of Environmental Defense says the corps is "intentionally misleading the public" by saying the locks need repair.
The project stalled in 2000 after a whistle-blower accused the corps of inventing the need for costly lock and dam construction.