Question: Refit or rebuild locks or new locks. What is cheaper? The increase of barge traffic in 60's due to building of bigger boats. Denny Lundberg, Corps of Engineers: Extending the 600 ft lock to a 1200 ft lock is the cheapest option. The next cheapest option would be to build a new 1200 ft lock alongside the existing lock. Extending the lock is doable, but there is a risk associated with that.
Question: Build island heads up for dredge soil: is this working to reestablish islands? Denny Lundberg, Corps of Engineers: We are trying to protect the islands that are out there now. We have gone out there to dredge soil to reestablish the islands.
Question: I understand the entire Mississippi Illinois River Lock and Dam system was built in 6 years. How much longer do we have to study before larger locks are built? Denny Lundberg, Corps of Engineers: Currently, we have many more environmental, economic, etc.
regulations to worry about.
Question: Where is the funding coming from for all these studies?
How much is being spent on the
studies and how much more will be spent to get to the construction phase? Denny Lundberg, Corps of Engineers: The Navigation Study is funded by Congress’s General Investigation and Appropriation Fund. The study is 100% federally funded.
Question: Will there be enough information in the interim report to allow Congress to make a funding authorization? In WRDA 2002 if they choose to do so? Denny Lundberg, Corps of Engineers: We don’t know whether or not Congress will make a decision. We won’t be in a position to have any of the NEPA documents completed, but there will be enough information to provide some sort of contingency.
Question: Will you be doing an Environmental Impact Statement for the recommended improvements? Will it include the cumulative effects of dams or just the additional traffic? Rich Fristik, Corps of Engineers: We will be doing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) thatwill include a cumulative effects analysis.
Question: Do some of the scenarios assume that segregated transportation streams will be needed for genetically modified crops? Rich Manguno, Corps of Engineers: Although scenarios will address in some fashion genetically modified crops, we specifically don’t know if we’ll get to this level of detail in respect to transportation of crops. I don’t know the final answer to that, but can speculate that probably not.
Question: Who really benefits from improved navigation? How much of this is towards the company who manages this? How much to the farmer? Rich Manguno, Corps of Engineers: When we measure transportation efficiency, we don’t identify the direct beneficiary. We are measuring net gains from efficiency that occur on an overall national perspective.
Question: Why would increased lock length increase barge traffic? Rich Manguno, Corps of Engineers: The general notion here is that by increasing the length you decrease the time for double locking and you create more locking cycles. So, if the demand exists and you can function more efficiently, you can move more traffic.
Question: Improvements to locks have already taken place on the Ohio River. What environmental ramifications to the ecosystem have been documented if any? Rich Fristik, Corps of Engineers: Based on historic data you can see the changes in the ecosystem. Illustrated over time, a number of effects were documented including sedimentation.