Okay, call us skeptical, but Senators Alexander and Graham seek bipartisan support of a new waterways funding plan that would:
• Remove the requirement that Olmsted Lock and Dam be funded using Inland Waterways Trust Fund revenues;
• Provide full Federal funding for maintenance of harbors up to 50 feet deep (currently it is only full funding up to 45 feet, but the Panama Canal expansion will accommodate ships with a 50-foot depth);
• Establish an accounting method for revenues from the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund that will allow those revenues to offset annual Harbor Maintenance spending;
• Speed up construction permit approval and provide states with the ability to appeal slow moving regulatory decision making;
• Authorize a five-year construction program to expand harbors to accommodate the larger ships expected after the Panama Canal expansion;
• Increase revenue to Inland Waterways Trust Fund in a manner consistent with the agreement between the Inland Waterways Users and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers;
• Require Inland Waterways construction projects follow the plan agreed to by the Inland Waterways Users and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers;
• Fund Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund and Inland Waterways Trust Fund construction projects to authorized widths and depths as part of the five-year construction program; and
• Fund landside infrastructure at ports.
I mean, we're not against new funding for waterways projects, but this idea of "bipartanship"? Regrettably, I suspect there's some out there that can't quite remember what that term means!
Underway and making way.
--- Fulweiler llc