Durbin Talks Illinois Water Infrastructure Projects with 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 (Corps) Chicago District Commander Colonel Kenneth P. Rockwell to receive an update on several northern Illinois infrastructure projects, including the Chicago Shoreline Storm Damage Reduction Project to restore the Chicago shoreline after coastal storm damage.  Durbin secured $1.5 million in funding for the project in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) in addition to securing language in the Water Resources Development Act of 2022 that required the Corps to use the City of Chicago’s locally preferred plan for the project. 

Durbin and Commander Rockwell also spoke about the restoration of the South Fork of the South Branch of the Chicago River, known as Bubbly Creek.  This portion of the river is filled with industrial and animal waste that was disposed in the creek for more than 100 years from the adjacent Union Stockyards and other local industries.  Durbin encouraged the Corps to continue to work with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to move forward on restoration work for the river.  Durbin secured $1.3 million in Fiscal Year 2023 for the Corps to complete design work on Bubbly Creek.

The two leaders concluded their meeting by touching on the Great Lakes Coastal Resiliency Study, which aims to identify new restoration and resiliency projects, as well as analyze the evolving impact of climate change on the Great Lakes while coordinating a strategy to manage and protect the Great Lakes coastline.  For this study, Durbin secured $3 million in the Fiscal Year 2024 minibus.

“Our Great Lakes are an invaluable resource for our region.  It’s vital that we fund and support restoration projects in the region that protect our water sources and their shoreline,” said Durbin.  “Today, I sat down with Colonel Rockwell to receive an update about the Army Corps of Engineers efforts.  From the Great Lakes Coastal Resiliency Study to cleaning up Bubbly Creek, I remain committed to working with the Army Corps to ensure our state has the resources and funding to carry out necessary water infrastructure projects in northern Illinois.”

 A photo of the meeting is available here.