U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, R-Tenn., pledged today to work to secure funding for the new lock at the Chickamauga Dam.
During a tour of the lock with officials from TVA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Fleischmann praised "the outstanding work so far" on a new and larger lock being erected beneath the Thrasher Bridge in the Tennessee River.
While the White House budget proposes another $3 million next year to maintain the current lock, there is no money in either the current or next year's budget plan for work on the new lock.
The freshman congressman said he will work to reform the funding formula for inland waterway projects to provide needed funding to complete the estimated $634 million cost for the new lock.
"This lock is critical to our national security and to the great commerce we have moving up and down the river," Fleischmann said. "I'm committed to funding the lock."
So far, nearly $200 million has been spent to design and engineer the new lock, to build one of the retaining walls and acquire some gates and valves, and to erect a temporary coffer dam in which the new lock will be built.
For complete details, see tomorrow's Times Free Press