Congressman Jim Himes (CT-4) today helped pass the Water Resources Reform and Development Act, which provides authorization for Army Corps of Engineers funding for improvements to America's ports, waterways, and projects tied to flood protection, drinking water, dams and levees, and environmental restoration. The bill also allows local governments and other entities to help fund stalled federal projects, which will help reduce the backlog of Corps projects currently blocking newer projects -- including those in Southwest Connecticut -- from starting.
"I'm pleased we are moving forward with bipartisan legislation to improve the nation's infrastructure and hope this is a sign of more cooperation in the future," Himes said. "I am hopeful this legislation will enable us to move forward with stalled projects in Connecticut."
Previously, Army Corps action followed an antiquated process that stalled many authorized projects, but this legislation helps to change that process. Himes has secured Army Corps assistance for many ongoing projects in Southwest Connecticut, including a flood mitigation study in the Byram River area, dredging of the Bridgeport and Norwalk Harbors, and construction of a hurricane barrier in Stamford. He is hopeful that this bill will help spur action on a comprehensive flooding study for Fairfield County, which has been authorized, but that the Army Corps has not yet begun.