Washington, DC – Today, Rep. Ron Kind announced that he joined a bicameral, bipartisan letter to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers urging the prioritization of funding for construction of the Navigation and Ecosystem Sustainability Program (NESP) on the Upper Mississippi River System with the $2.5 billion for inland waterways provided in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
“The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is set to deliver significant wins for Wisconsin, from upgrading our crumbling infrastructure to creating millions of good-paying jobs,” said Rep. Ron Kind. “As this law starts to take effect, I hope to see NESP construction prioritized in the funding for inland waterways infrastructure projects. Modernizing our locks and dams on the Upper Mississippi will bring immediate economic and environmental benefits to not only Wisconsin, but the entire nation.”
Originally authorized in Title VIII of the Water Resources Development Act of 2007, NESP would modernize and expand certain outdated locks at the most congested lock locations along the Upper Mississippi as well as fund more than $1 billion in ecosystem restoration. NESP will create almost 50 million person-hours of living wage construction jobs. A 2019 study released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture showed that rebuilding NESP locks would inject $72 billion additional dollars into the nation’s GDP.
Rep. Kind is the founder and co-chair of the Upper Mississippi River Basin Task Force, and a co-chair of the Congressional Mississippi River Caucus.
Read the bipartisan letter here.