Bond gets Senate OK for big money for Missouri's "Big Muddy," Meramec and Mississippi rivers
This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 30, 2009 - U.S. Sen. Christopher "Kit" Bond's staff is trumpeting his success in winning Senate approval of close to $100 million for various flood control, lock and dam projects in the St. Louis area along the Missouri, Meramec and Mississippi rivers.
The list still needs the House's OK, but -- based on the tone of their release -- Bond and his aides seem almost giddy with their victory so far. A sizable chunk of the projects and their allocations also are getting a boost because they're in the Obama administration's original requests.
The money comes as Bond and fellow U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., are blocking a $25 million study of the Missouri River. McCaskill introduced an amendment this week barring the study, which is sought by some upper-river states who long have tangled with Missouri and lower-river states over the use of the Missouri River.
The money and the projects, according to Bond's office, include:
-- "$3.331 million for the Chesterfield Flood Wall. The funds will go to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Louis District, to help raise the existing levees on the Missouri River and Bonhomme Creek to provide protection from a 500-year flood event along with relief wells, a sheet pile cutoff, and berms to control under seepage. During the Great Flood of 1993, the existing levee failed causing flood damages in excess of $200 million. This project was part of the President’s budget request."
-- "$100,000 for the River des Peres Project. The funds will go to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Louis District to reduce damages affecting 550 structures within both industrial and residential areas. This project will eliminate flash flooding and interior flooding to homes and businesses."
-- "$566,000 for the St. Louis Flood Protection Project. The funds will go to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Louis District in St. Louis, Missouri to correct deficiencies to ensure that the system can provide its authorized level of service. This floodwall protects $3 billion of industrial property located behind the flood wall, including businesses that may pose an environmental hazard if flooded. This project was part of the President’s budget request."
-- "$1.525 million for the Meramec River Basin Project in Valley Park. The funds will go to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Louis District to provide flood protection and recreation opportunities. This project will provide erosion protection at the tow of the levee and prevent seepage into the protected area though a railroad embankment."
-- "$58.714 million for the Mississippi River between the Missouri River and Minneapolis, MN. The funds will go to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Rock Island District to provide for the operation costs of 14 locks and 11 dams from Guttenberg, Iowa downstream to Saverton, Missouri. Operation of the locks and dams and related infrastructure allow efficient and cost-effective movement of more than 90 million tons of grain, coal, sand and other materials along the entire length of the Mississippi River Basin. This project was part of the President’s budget request."
-- "$23.403 million for the Mississippi River between the Ohio and Missouri Rivers.The funds will go to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Louis District to improve navigation by constructing dikes, revetment, construction dredging, and rock removal. This project produces a reduction in dredging and savings of approximately $18 million annually. This project was part of the president’s budget request."
-- "$9 million for the Upper Mississippi River Water Way System, IL, IA, MN, MO, and WI, Navigation and Ecosystem Sustainability Program (NESP). The funds will help the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers finish the design and start the construction of three locks on the Mississippi River. This multi-billion dollar effort focused on providing navigation efficiency improvement and ecological restoration projects for the Upper Mississippi River and Illinois Waterway system for the next 50 years."