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A crane places stone riprap along the navigation channel in the Mississippi River at Lock 3 near Red Wing MN  Jan 10 The US Army Corps of Engineers completed the extension of Lock and Dam 3rsquos upper guide wall in 2012 as part of a 71 million renovation project

A crane places stone riprap along the navigation channel in the Mississippi River at Lock 3 near Red Wing, MN. Jan. 10. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers completed the extension of Lock and Dam 3’s upper guide wall in 2012 as part of a $71 million renovation project.

Optimism on waterway reforms

Think Different Spending on U.S. Corps of Engineers projects was $70 per person in 1936 and $56 per person in 1966. Over the past two decades, it has averaged $18 per person. Since 2000, shippers have seen a twofold increase in scheduled lock closures, a three-fold increase in unscheduled closures, and a 50% increase in down time.

The recently passed Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) offers hope for progress on waterway lock and dam improvements, keeping the Mississippi River system viable for shippers.

But while WRRDA “moves the needle,” far more needs to be done, says Paul Rohde, Midwest area vice president for the Waterways Council, Inc. He warns that by the end of this decade, 78% of waterway locks will have surpassed the end of their design life.

The reforms includes better met

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