Soybean groups from four Midwestern states are pooling funds together with the hopes that they can be put to use in funding the first steps to modernize a key part of the region’s transportation system. The Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council along with three of its counterparts, the United Soybean Board, and Soy Transportation Coalition, have announced they would contribute $1 million to help underwrite the cost of pre-engineering and designing upgrades to Lock and Dam No. 25, located about 50 miles northwest of St. Louis outside Winfield. Soy Transportation Coalition executive director Mike Steenhoek says the lock is among seven in serious need of replacement.
Locks near Canton, Clarksville, Quincy, and Saverton were also identified in the Navigation and Ecosystem Sustainability Program by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Steenhoek says if the Corps is allowed to accept funding from private sources for the project, work to replace the 82-year-old lock could begin next spring.
Funding to modernize the Upper Mississippi River’s lock and dam system was included as part of the $17 billion allocated to waterways in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act passed last month by Congress.