Durbin Receives Updates on Illinois Water Infrastructure Projects From Rock Island Army Corps District Commander

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today met with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Rock Island District Commander Colonel Jesse Curry to receive an update on several Illinois water infrastructure projects, including the restoration of Quincy Bay, the Brandon Road project to protect the Great Lakes from the spread of invasive Asian Carp, and the modernization of Illinois locks and dams through the Navigation and Ecosystem Sustainability Program (NESP).  

“Illinois’ water infrastructure is a vital part of our state’s economy. With the millions in federal support coming into Illinois from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we can finally begin to modernize our locks and dams and protect the Great Lakes from invasive species,” said Durbin. “I had a productive discussion today with Colonel Curry about advancing several important Illinois projects, including the restoration of Quincy Bay.”

During their meeting, Durbin and Colonel Curry discussed NESP, a first-of-its-kind Corps program that will expand and modernize seven locks at the most congested lock locations along the Upper Mississippi and Illinois rivers, fund nearly $2 billion in ecosystem restoration, allow Illinois agriculture to better compete globally, and create thousands of jobs. In January, the Biden Administration announced that $829 million in federal funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) will go toward the project, including $732 million for the complete construction of the modernization of Lock 25 and $97.1 million to initiate an environmental restoration project to create a fish passage at Lock 22. Durbin has long been a supporter of NESP, securing an additional $45 million in funding for the project in the Fiscal Year 2022 omnibus appropriations bill.

Durbin received an update on the feasibility study for the Quincy Bay Restoration project, which aims to reverse the impact of sedimentation and erosion at Quincy Bay to improve ecosystems, waterways for boaters, and recreation. Durbin previously secured funding for the project through the Upper Mississippi River Restoration (UMRR) program.

Durbin and Colonel Curry also spoke about how the $225.8 million in federal funding allocated to Illinois through the IIJA will help advance the Brandon Road project in Joliet to prevent invasive Asian Carp from reaching the Great Lakes. 

 A photo of the meeting is available here.