Corps prepares environmental statement for upper Mississippi
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will draft an environmental impact statement to address its restructured Upper Mississippi River/Illinois Waterway System Navigation Study.
The nine-foot channel navigation project, originally authorized in 1930, is under intense study for changed physical, economic and environmental conditions that may require structural and nonstructural changes to reduce freight traffic congestion and enhance ecosystem restoration.
Since the early 1990s, the Corps has been under pressure from both shipping industry and environmental groups to improve conditions on the upper Mississippi River.
Structural improvements proposed for the river system include extending the length of existing locks, constructing new locks and moorings. Non-structural improvements include scheduling and congestion fee systems for traffic management and switchboats.
The study is also considering ecosystem restoration measures, such as island building, fish passage structures at locks and dams, floodplain restoration and water-level management.