Monongahela locks and dams would get $2 million from spending plan
By Len Boselovic
April 12, 2013 – President Barack Obama’s $3.8 trillion budget proposal calls for imposing annual per-vessel fees on the barge industry to pay for an $8 billion backlog in delayed and over-budget projects, including replacing aging locks and dams on the Monongahela River.
The White House proposal comes as a measure by Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., to bolster funding for the work and shift more of the costs to taxpayers could be taken up by the U.S. Senate as early as next week.
The budget proposal Mr. Obama submitted Wednesday includes $4.7 billion for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers civil works program, which includes operating, maintaining and replacing more than 200 locks and related dams on the nation’s rivers. That is nearly 6 percent less than was called for in the last budget Congress approved for the fiscal year that ended in September.
The $4.7 billion includes $2 million for replacing locks and dams on the Monongahela River at Braddock, Charleroi and Elizabeth, a project that typifies the delays and cost overruns plaguing the nation’s deteriorating locks and dams.