Members of Illinois' congressional delegation are urging Gov. Pat Quinn and industry to pursue public-private partnerships to fix the state's aging locks and dams.
U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk, and Reps. Cheri Bustos and Rodney Davis sent Quinn a letter Tuesday urging him to coordinate with industry to take advantage of a new federal program that could speed needed repairs.
They say states could bypass the sometimes-slow U.S. Army Corps of Engineers planning, design, and construction process. Communities instead could develop "innovative financing structures" that include private funding and construction.
They say members of the agriculture, mining, and shipping industries should be involved in the effort to repair locks and dams on the Mississippi and Illinois rivers, which are used to move millions of tons of goods annually.