Congressmen Scott DesJarlais and Chuck Fleischmann visited the Chickamauga Lock in Chattanooga on Monday to view construction of a replacement for the aging structure on the Tennessee River.
Rep. DesJarlais stated, “TVA operates dozens of dams and locks, enabling water commerce and recreation throughout Tennessee and neighboring states.
The Chickamauga Lock serves more boaters and barges than almost any other. However, customers experience among the longest processing and wait times.
He added, “The Chattanooga area is a crossroads for the entire Southeast. Delays at Chickamauga Lock increase transportation costs for businesses and consumers, who enjoy outdoor opportunities the river also provides. Building 21st-century infrastructure will help rural families and small businesses to reach their full potential.
“I’m working with Congressman Fleischmann to make wise investments in our state and also protect taxpayer money,” he said.
The Army Corps is overseeing construction of a wider lock for larger barges, up to six at once, a significant improvement the Corps estimates will be complete in a few years. Engineers are making repairs to the existing nearly 80-year-old lock, suffering from structural deficiencies and service disruptions.
Nearby energy and national security installations require reliable access, Rep. DesJarlais said.
As a result of upgrades, Rep. DesJarlais said he foresees increased economic growth in Middle Tennessee, already attracting more business and industry. “Our infrastructure, including federal permitting and other rules and regulations, must keep pace with rapid changes,” he said.
Story originally published by Chattanoogan.com