Four Truman-Hobbs Bridges to Receive Funding from Recovery Act:
On April 20, Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Homeland Security revealed that four bridge alteration projects will receive funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) that President Obama signed into law on February 19. Additionally, Secretary Napolitano announced that some ARRA funding would go toward building the edifices for various Coast Guard sectors, and for other functions around the country.
ARRA allotted $240m to the Coast Guard. Secretary Napolitano indicated that $142m of that total will fund bridge alteration projects on the Mobile Bridge in Hurricane, Al.; the EJ&E Bridge in Devine, Ill.; the Burlington Bridge in Burlington, Ia.; and, the Galveston Causeway Bridge in Galveston, Texas. $88m will be directed to the construction of buildings to house Coast Guard Sectors in Corpus Christi, Texas and Jacksonville, Fl., and to the construction of personnel housing, boat moorings and other improvements in six states.
The $142 million for the four bridges is being granted for the purpose of complying with the Truman-Hobbs Act of 1940. This act states that no bridge shall at any time unreasonably obstruct the free navigation on any navigable waters of the United States. AWO commends the Coast Guard for taking steps to remove these barriers to navigation.
The Great Lakes and Ohio Valley Division Announce Projects to Receive Funding from Recovery Act:
On April 28, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released the list of lock and dam projects that will receive ARRA funding. The ARRA appropriated $4.6b to the Corps for its Civil Works program, including $2b for construction projects and $2b for operations and maintenance (O&M) projects. Of the overall construction total, $84m will be spent on Locks & Dams 2, 3, & 4 on the Monongahela River in Western Pennsylvania, while $57.5m will go toward work on the Chickamauga Lock & Dam in Tennessee. For the O&M work, the Tennessee River will receive $20.3m in funding, and $8.2m will go toward locks and dams on the Ohio River in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia.
The Corps announced that it expects to create approximately 8,000 direct jobs for every $1b spent, in addition to indirectly creating 20,400 jobs for each $1b spent in industries that supply or support construction and O&M activities, as well as industries that sell goods and services to the workers and their families. The Corps also indicated that it intends to begin the authorized projects quickly. AWO will work with the Corps and Waterways Council, Inc. to ensure that the ARRA funds are spent in a manner that both provides the necessary improvements and maintains fiscal responsibility.