Illinois lawmakers introduce bill that would improve nearby rivers

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Four Illinois lawmakers introduced an act that would help clear $60 billion backlog in Army Corps projects which includes water infrastructure upgrades along the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers.

The sponsors of the bill, called the Water Infrastructure Now Public-Private Partnership Act, are U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL), U.S. Representative Cheri Bustos (D-IL), and U.S. Representative Rodney Davis (R-IL).

According to Cheri Bustos’ website, the Congresswoman introduced the bill when she addressed the House of Representatives on Thursday, March 14.

Bustos said the bill would improve the Nation’s water infrastructure as well as the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers’ locks and dams. The public-private partnerships would expedite projects and save taxpayer money.

As for clearing the $60 billion backlog of U.S. Army Corps projects, Bustos said it will take decades to complete these without help from private investment. By creating a pilot program, agreements between the Army Corps of Engineers and private entities to find alternatives to traditional financing, planning, designing and construction methods could be explored.

She noted that U.S. Senator Dick Durbin and U.S. Senator Mark Kirk introduced the bill to the Senate Thursday as well.

This bill has been referred to the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.