More than a decade after it was initially approved, funding for improvements to the Upper Mississippi River and Illinois Waterway System is now in the Army Corps of Engineers’ fiscal year 2020 work plan. That’s welcome news for Waterways Council Senior Vice President Debra Calhoun.

NESF is the Navigation and Ecosystem Sustainability Program to overhaul or replace ancient locks on the Upper Mississippi and Illinois rivers, a key for the nation’s ag shippers and farmers.

The funds will go toward preconstruction engineering and design, with the aim of work beginning by 2024.