Market News & Headlines >> House Approves Bill To Repair Locks, Dams

The U.S. House of Representatives has easily passed an $8.2 billion bill that identifies water infrastructure projects and authorizes funding for them.

The House passed by a 412-to-4 vote the Water Resources Reform and Development Act. According to various reports the Senate may vote on it this week also. It would be the first new water infrastructure package in seven years.

Water infrastructure has become an increasingly important issue due to the need for repairs and the development of larger ships that will pass through the expanded Panama Canal. That requires deeper ports, advocates of the bill say. The clogging of the rail transportation system since winter also highlights the need for good river transportation infrastructure.

The National Corn Growers Association applauded the House vote, noting that more than 60% of U.S. grain exports are transported by barge.

“The locks and dams we depend upon to transport our cargoes were built in the 1920s and 1930s,” the association said. “It is imperative that we improve this crucial infrastructure.”