Durbin, Duckworth, Stabenow, Peters Secure Increase In Federal Cost Share To Help Protect The Great Lakes In The 2024 Water Resources Development Act

Containing a provision changing the federal cost-share to 90/10 for the operation and management of Brandon Road, WRDA was passed out of Committee unanimously earlier this week

WASHINGTONToday, U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), and U.S. Senator Gary Peters (D-MI) today announced that they secured an increase to the federal cost share for the Brandon Road Project in the Water Resources Development Act of 2024 (WRDA), which was unanimously passed out of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW) earlier this week.  Under the provision, the federal government will pay 90 percent of the operation and maintenance costs for Brandon Road after the project’s construction is complete, significantly lowering the costs of maintaining the infrastructure for Illinois.  The Brandon Road Project will construct a new engineered channel at Brandon Road in Joliet, Illinois, that will be used to test and deploy a range of technologies that will prevent invasive carp from moving further north to the Great Lakes.

“One of our region’s greatest assets and resources is our Great Lakes.  Right now, invasive carp pose a serious economic and environmental threat to that resource.  The Brandon Road Project will play a vital role in protecting the Great Lakes from the irreparable harm of invasive species,” said Durbin.  “With the new provision in WRDA committing the federal government to maintaining the operations of the completed project, we are one step closer to ensuring that our lakes are protected.”


“The Brandon Road Project is critical in protecting the Great Lakes’ exposure to invasive Carp, a growing threat to our entire inland waterways system and to the countless Illinois communities and businesses that rely on strong and vibrant aquatic ecosystems,” Duckworth said. “Increasing the federal cost share for this project and its continued operation and management is something we’ve been working toward for years, along with our strong partners in Michigan. I’m proud to have it included in this year’s committee-passed Water Resources Development Act, and I will keep working to ensure it is signed into law.”

“The Brandon Road Interbasin Project is critical to stopping invasive carp from wreaking havoc on our Great Lakes.  This cost share change is a big win, reducing costs for our state and helping to ensure that, once completed, this vital project will protect our Great Lakes for generations to come,” said Stabenow. 

“Invasive carp pose a grave risk to the Great Lakes, jeopardizing our robust fishing and recreational boating industries, and the hundreds of thousands of jobs throughout the region that these and other industries support,” said Peters. “I am proud of the investments we have made and are continuing to push for at the federal level to ensure the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers can put the necessary infrastructure in place to counter invasive carp at the Brandon Road Lock and Dam, a critical choke point in the Des Plaines River not far from Lake Michigan. The completion of this project is imperative to preventing invasive carp from reaching the Great Lakes now and in the future, and it must get underway as quickly as possible.”

Durbin, Duckworth, Stabenow, and Peters have been tireless advocates for the Brandon Road Project and finding a comprehensive approach to protecting the Great Lakes from the threat of invasive carp.  Through previous Water Resources Development Acts, they secured authorization for design and construction of the Brandon Road Project and increased the federal cost-share for construction of the project. 

The Senators previously secured $225.8 million in construction funding for the project from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) and $47.3 million in the Fiscal Year 2023 government funding bill.

Durbin was also instrumental in forcing the release of the original Brandon Road Study, a draft plan that paved the way for the project, after the Trump Administration stalled the report’s release.