ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) — As Spring arrives accompanied by higher Mississippi River levels — the drought and its effect on the critical waterway continues to worry two Illinois Congressmen.
U.S. Rep. Bill Enyart, (D-Belleville) and U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R–Taylorville) have teamed up to co-sponsor bi-partisan legislation to avoid close calls on the Mississippi, which nearly shut down to navigation in January due to low water levels.
Enyart tells KMOX News that one section of the bill would tap into 21st Century technology to more accurately read the river level. “Some of the river gauges are actually just lines that are painted on bridges,” said Enyart. “So we’d like to see automated gauges put in.”
The Mississippi River Navigation Sustainment Act would give the Corps of Engineers more leeway to step in and respond to river emergencies, and would create a pilot program to restore and protect wildlife habitat from navigation projects.
A Senate version has been introduced by U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL)