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Lock and Dam Plan Clears U.S. Senate Committee



Washington – A Senate committee has cleared the way for action on a bill to modernize locks on the upper Mississippi and Illinois rivers.

But some Democrats complain the measure does not provide enough scrutiny over projects planned by the Army Corps of Engineers.

Introduced last week by Missouri Republican Kit Bond, the bill would spend nearly $2.5 billion dollars to build seven new locks and dams along the rivers. About 1.6 billion would go toward ecosystem restoration.

There's no timetable on when the full Senate will consider the measure, one of Bond's top jobs initiatives.

A key sticking point has been whether to require independent review of corps projects, a demand by environmental and taxpayer groups. But the shipping industry considers that too burdensome.