A bill sponsored by Illinois Democrats and Republicans aims to speed up repairs to the locks and dams on the Illinois and Mississippi rivers.
The Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014 is cosponsored by members of both parties, including U.S. Sens. Mark Kirk, R-Chicago, and Dick Durbin, D-Springfield, and U.S. Reps. Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville, and Cheri Bustos, D-East Moline. The bill encourages public-private partnerships to speed up the planning and construction of water infrastructure, Durbin said.
Different versions of the bill have passed the House and Senate, and the conference committee now has completed its report. The final version must be voted by both houses of Congress, as early as next week.
The legislation includes a pilot program to explore agreements between the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and private entities for planning, design and construction models.