Chickamauga Dam Pipe Dream

  • Tuesday, May 23, 2023

So, the Chickamauga Dam locks will be ready for use in 2026? And its half-way complete? Not so fast….

Initial appropriations for the lock addition/replacement occurred in 2003 with construction beginning the next year. I may not be a product of Hamilton County’s famed and illustrious public school system but my arithmetic indicates that it has taken almost 20 years to get halfway.

But since both Underdog and Tom Terrific have promised to show up and assist in the construction, it’s easy to imagine the second half of construction going so much faster: three years as opposed to 20. And of course, the federal legislature has promised to make yearly allocations streamlined and easy to award (instead of pulling teeth for the next round of appropriations, as in the past).

Allow me to opine that the three years completion date is a pipe dream. Expect Chickamauga Dam lock completion in 20 years. Not 2026, but 2043. Anyone who tells you different wants to sell you a bridge or is running for office.

Dave Fihn

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