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Tour Highlights Importance of River Transportation

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Lockmaster, Doug Morgan (right) explains the wicket system used at Peoria Lock & Dam to Reps. Darin LaHood, R-Dunlap, (left) and Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville (center). Both Congressmen toured the facility May 5. Also pictured (in back, from left) local farmers Mark Hines and Jim Reed; and Rep. Davis’ staff member Tyler Cravens.

Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville, and Rep. Darin LaHood, R-Dunlap, joined local farmers at the Peoria Lock and Dam to take a look at river transportation and its importance for central Illinois ‪‎agriculture May 5.

More than 7 million tons of food and farm products move up or down the Illinois River each year, which is about 30% of the total volume of goods transported on the river annually.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers staff provided the tour of Peoria Lock & Dam, first constructed in 1939.  New miter gates will be installed on the lock later this year to replace the original ones thanks to a recent influx of funding to the Corps’ operations and maintenance budget.

McLean County Farm Bureau members Fred Grieder, Mark Hines and Pat Bane along with Illinois Corn Marketing Board District 7 Director, Jim Reed, attended the tour and emphasized the need to improve lock and dam infrastructure to maintain access to grain export markets.

LaHood and Davis will both be involved in debate of a WRDA (Water Resources Development Act) bill to authorize improvements to the water navigation system later this year.

The group also toured an ADM grain facility and river terminal located nearby.

Thank you to the Illinois Corn Marketing Board and Illinois Farm Bureau staff for participating in the event.

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