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US Senators: Mississippi River Traffic At Crisis Level

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(credit: CBS) Pat Kessler
Pat Kessler knows Minnesota politics. He's been on the beat long...
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ST. PAUL (WCCO) — Two United States senators were in St. Paul Thursday, pushing for federal money to fix what they say is a national crisis on the Mississippi River.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-Louisiana, are pushing for federal funds for repairing 238 locks and dams, half of which are over 50 years old.

There’s also a very big problem with dredging for barges that are hauling products, as demand from other countries is skyrocketing.

“We can’t handle the traffic that’s on [the Mississippi] now,” Landrieu said at a press conference Wednesday afternoon. “So, all globalization, all economic trade, depends on the locks and dams working efficiently and effectively, so the senator and I are saying is: alert, alert. This infrastructure is rapidly and dangerously deteriorating, and it affects everyone in the country.”

The American Society of Civil Engineers gave the Mississippi River’s locks and dams a grade of “D –.” That means some of the locks and dams are actually falling apart.

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