Chattanooga Congressman Makes Another Bid for Funding for Chickamauga Lock

CHATTANOOGA, TN (WDEF-TV) -As of now, the 74- year- old lock at Chickamauga dam is on borrowed time. Funding to complete a new lock has been halted, and the bottleneck is with the U.S. Army corps of engineers.
Tennessee congressman Chuck Fleischmann from Chattanooga has recruited a new ally in breaking the impasse.

REP. CHUCK FLESCHMANN, (R) TENNESSEE "We are very close to getting new construction started…the revenue is there, the revenue is going to continue to be there..because everything is in place for that."

Congressman Fleischmann is asking citizens to let the Army Corps of Engineers know their desire to get work started again of the new lock at Chickamauga. But, for now, the Corps has not announced what it will do with an estimated 54-million dollars it has for 4 waterways projects, including Chickamauga.
The money was raised when user fees of companies using the Tennessee River were increased from 20-to-29 cents a gallon.

REP. CHUCK FLEISCHMANN  "My request of them is to find out what are you going to do with 54-million dollars? Our challenge is..our challenge is to get part of that 54-million dollars for Chickamauga lock."

The executive director of the Tennessee River Valley Association based in Nashville has pledged his organizations support in getting the funding.

CLINE JONES, EXEC. DIRECTOR, TENNESSEE RIVER WATERWAYS COUNCIL " I can tell you this..we do have the backing of the National Waterways Conference. and the Waterways council incorporated to get these funds for Chickamauga lock…it’s long over due."

The congressman says he has also learned that the Corps of engineers also has a 6-million dollar fund that could also spur work at the Chattanooga lock. He and Jones say they will urge the corps to allocate at least some of that money to the stalled project.

Jones encouraged Fleischmann’s efforts with his organization’s "Friend of the Valley Award."

Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander is also pressing for new funding for the lock.
But as of now, indication of when that may happen.

Congressman Fleischmann says completion of the local lock may eventually cost as much as 500-million to 700-million dollars.

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