Talking Frankly with Sam: Investing in Infrastructure | Opinion – The Maryville Discussion board

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The Mississippi River is greater than only a river. The waterway connects northern Missouri and the Midwest with the remainder of America and the remainder of the world. It’s estimated that about 60 p.c of all grain exported by American farmers is shipped on the Mississippi River. It’s not only a one-way road; we additionally depend upon the river to convey fertilizer into the sphere. This isn’t solely vital for these of us who function a farm for a dwelling, all of us depend upon shipments of oil, fuel and coal that journey usually by barge.

That mentioned, the Corps of Engineers’s new work plan features a large win for northern Missouri and your complete Midwest. The Corps will make investments practically $ 96.5 million in dredging and different enhancements to the Higher Mississippi delivery channel. That is nearly double what the Corps spent on the Navigation Channel final yr. That is large information as a result of it makes it simpler and extra environment friendly for barge visitors to move items on the river.

Higher but, by making individuals's lives and livelihoods a high precedence like this one, these investments will proceed to pay large dividends for years to come back. The Mississippi River helps lots of of 1000’s of high-paying American jobs within the Midwest and lots of of billions of dollars in financial exercise. It’s vital not solely to northern Missouri and the Midwest, however to our complete nation.

Making investments that put individuals and property first ought to function a roadmap on how we will higher handle the remainder of our nation's waterways, together with the Missouri River. The Corps of Engineers has included cash of their plan to check methods to enhance navigation on the Missouri River, which is a step in the proper route, however we have to make the required repairs and enhancements to the navigation channel. from the Missouri River as quickly as doable. later. Failure to take action impacts our communities and leaves some huge cash and jobs on the desk. The Missouri River can be an enormous financial engine, however provided that the Corps takes the required steps to make it occur.

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As I mentioned earlier than, infrastructure, particularly to facilitate interstate and worldwide commerce in merchandise made in the USA, is likely one of the issues the federal authorities ought to and may do effectively. These much-needed upgrades to the Higher Mississippi Delivery Channel are an enormous step ahead, however we nonetheless have a number of work to do to restore our growing older infrastructure: restore roads, change bridges and, sure, restore navigation on the Missouri River. . channel too.

The excellent news is that with these Mississippi River enhancements, the repairs we've completed on our roads, the alternative of lots of of growing older bridges throughout Missouri, and different good investments in our infrastructure, we're making good progress.

Sam Graves is the US consultant for the Sixth District of Mo.

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