Senator Lamar Alexander said a new formula for inland waterway spending could help revive the stalled Chickamauga Lock.
He said the legislation would free up $81 million in money that would have gone toward Olmsted Lock in Ohio, but will instead be available for inland navigation projects that could include Chickamauga Lock. The legislation would do so by changing the requirements of the Inland Waterways Trust Fund – which draws on fees that commercial users report and pay themselves – so that Olmsted Lock will only receive 25 percent of its money from the fund, instead of 50 percent.
He said, “This is the first appropriations bill with our better funding formula that could help Chickamauga Lock, which is important for Chattanooga and all of East Tennessee because it affects commerce going up the Tennessee River. Replacing Chickamauga Lock would help ensure that 6.7 million tons of cargo can continue to move through the lock – keeping 100,000 heavy trucks off Interstate 75 and creating good jobs for Tennesseans in a competitive world.”