Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) and Rep. Dave Loebsack (IA-02) today continued travelling along the Mississippi River corridor to visit communities affected by recent floods, discuss flood management, and highlight the importance of lock and dam infrastructure investments to Iowa economic growth. Braley and Loebsack visited the Quad Cities, and then continued onto Muscatine, Burlington, and Fort Madison to visit communities affected by recent floods. Yesterday, Braley toured locks and dams in Harpers Ferry, Guttenberg, Dubuque, and Bellevue.
Braley and Loebsack joined Rep. Cheri Bustos (IL-17) in the Quad Cities to discuss lock and dam investments. They met with local officials to discuss bipartisan legislation they're promoting in Congress to explore the creation of public-private partnerships between the Army Corps of Engineers and private entities as financing alternatives for lock and dam capital projects.
"Creating public-private partnerships between the Army Corps of Engineers and private companies will help Mississippi River locks and dams get the critical upgrades they need, creating jobs and encouraging economic growth," Braley said. "It's a creative way to fund lock and dam modernization that will speed up badly-needed improvements."
"In order to keep the Mississippi River open and commerce moving, we must make the strategic investments necessary to modernize the locks and dams that help control the flow of the river. A "fix as they fail' approach won't cut it," Loebsack said. "I remain committed to working across the river and across the aisle to ensure our river infrastructure is modernized and to jumpstart the job creation and economic boost modernizing the river infrastructure will provide. We need to invest in our infrastructure and explore all options to do that including the expansion of public-private partnerships."
Braley and Loebsack are cosponsors of Rep. Cheri Bustos' Water Infrastructure Now Public-Private Partnership Act (WIN P3) which would explore the creation of public-private partnerships between the Army Corps of Engineers and private entities as financing alternatives for lock and dam capital projects. The Army Corps of Engineers currently estimates they are facing a $60 billion backlog of outstanding construction projects.
When the Army Corps of Engineers and private entities enter into a partnership they will decentralize the planning, design and construction process in an effort to speed up completion while maintaining safety. Additionally, to protect public investment any partnership agreement must be examined within 90 days by a neutral third party to determine whether a proposed agreement is more cost-effective and efficient than the current system. Text of the WIN P3 Act can be downloaded at the following link: http://1.usa.gov/ZSz2YA