Chickamauga Lock. Courtesy: TVA.gov
A Tennessee senator is working on a bill that would secure funding for improvements to the Chickamauga Lock.
Senator Lamar Alexander announced plans to create the American Water Works Act in Chattanooga on Wednesday. He's working on the bill with Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. It would upgrade America's ports, locks and dams.
Construction on the Chickamauga Lock will create a wider and longer lock able to handle multiple jumbo barges at a time.
Alexander says it reminds him of the road projects of the 1980s.
"Tennesseans were glad to support a program that would create the best four-lane highway system in the state because it helped us attract Volkswagen and suppliers which now provide a third of our manufacturing jobs. This is an investment in new jobs and it is paid for in large part by people, the commercial users of the lock," he said.
If it's approved, the bill would free up funds for the project and double the Inland Waterways Trust Fund by increasing user fees.