Fleischmann Leads Fight To Increase Funding For Chickamauga Lock

December 3, 2014
Press Release

WASHINGTON− The House of Representatives voted to pass H.R. 647, the ABLE Act, which will provide critical funding for inland waterways projects such as the Chickamauga Lock. Congressman Chuck Fleischmann was joined by U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander in championing passage of this legislation.

“Since my first day in office, I have been fighting to secure funding for the Chickamauga Lock,” said Congressman Chuck Fleischmann. “Earlier this year, we passed legislation to reform the main funding mechanism for the lock. This was an essential fix to the underlying problem, but there is more work to be done. Today, we moved one step closer to completing our goal with the passage of the barge fuel fee increase. This fee will add approximately $40 million in annual funding to the Inland Waterways Trust Fund, which could allow construction to start as early as 2016.  The legislation passed today will ensure that East Tennessee has the waterways infrastructure necessary to build a world-class economy.”

“Passage of this legislation would mean Congress has accepted the offer by commercial barge owners to pay more to replace Chickamauga Lock, and that construction could resume as early as 2016,” said Senator Lamar Alexander, the top Republican on the Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development. “Replacing Chickamauga Lock keeps good jobs flowing into Chattanooga and East Tennessee – including at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, nuclear facilities and manufacturing plants – makes it easier for recreational boaters to go through the lock at no cost, and keeps 150,000 trucks from clogging up I-75. I especially congratulate Congressman Fleischmann for his work on this legislation. Without his support and that of Senator Corker and Congressman Duncan, this would not have happened. I will work to make sure it receives prompt consideration in the Senate.”

Congressman Chuck Fleischmann recently led a bipartisan letter to Speaker Boehner urging an increase in the barge fuel fee, which will help provide funding for the lock.