ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Like an old car that could break down at any moment, the locks and dams along the Mississippi River are aging and in need of upgrades.

That’s according to the the engineering and construction director at America’s Port. Bill Stallman tells KMOX it’s an uphill battle trying to keep the system modernized, and because funding is based on the tonnage that moves through it, so a breakdown is a double-whammy.

“Shippers tend to find alternate routes to move their products, which reduces the tonnage going through the locks, which directly relates to decreased funds, which goes towards the maintenance side of things,” he says.

Stallman says there needs to be a heart-felt discussion on finding ways to fund infrastructure improvements.

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