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.