GRANITE CITY — U.S. Reps. Mike Bost (R-Illinois) and Rodney Davis (R-Illinois) hosted a roundtable discussion at America’s Central Port on Tuesday with industry leaders to discuss the upcoming reauthorization of the Water Resources Development Act and other transportation and infrastructure issues.
“Our region’s waterways, chief among them the Mississippi and Illinois rivers, are a critical part of our economy,” Davis said. “We have a responsibility to upgrade and repair our waterways and this begins by reauthorizing a water resources bill every two years. Last Congress, we came together to pass the first water reauthorization in nearly seven years to streamline the approval process, enable the use of public-private partnerships as an alternative tool to move some projects forward, and help address the large backlog of projects. I want to build on these successes in the next bill and continue to cut through red tape that’s preventing even greater job growth.”
“As a member of the House Transportation Committee, it’s important to me to see, first hand, the condition of the infrastructure in Southern Illinois,” Bost said. “Today’s meeting with local stakeholders is an important first step in learning the needs of the transportation system, whether it’s in Madison County or other areas of the 12th District. This vast and critical infrastructure impacts the lives of every one of us on a daily basis and is essential to maintaining our economic vitality.”
Industry leaders expressed the importance of maintaining existing infrastructure as well as building new structures to help grow businesses and job opportunities across the region.
“Our nation’s waterway system is one of the greatest assets in our region and in our country,” said Dennis Wilmsmeyer, executive director at America’s Central Port. “The economic success and growth of our region and our country rely heavily on operable infrastructure and it is great to see so many leaders coming together to help our nation achieve that goal.”
The congressmen also toured the Melvin Price Locks and Dam in East Alton.