Army Corps of Engineers announces $123.6 million in new federal funding for region’s waterways projects |

Army Corps of Engineers announces $123.6 million in new federal funding for region’s waterways projects

Paul Peirce

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Pittsburgh District, received $123.6 million in supplemental federal funding in 2019 for several infrastructure projects along the region’s waterways.

Among the largest projects is $89 million for the Lower Monongahela River Project that will allow construction to continue on a new river chamber at Charleroi Lock and Dam in Washington County. The project includes dredging a new navigation channel and awarding contracts for smaller project features, said Col. Andrew “Coby” Short, commander of the Pittsburgh District.

Half of the funding will be provided from the Inland Waterways Trust Fund, which generates funds from taxing diesel fuel used by commercial tow operators.

“These additional funds provide a boost to the regional economy while maintaining and improving our vital water resource infrastructure,” Short said in a statement.

“This will help ensure we fulfill our commitment to reduce flooding, provide reliable navigation, enhance the environment and offer quality recreation for the citizens of the Upper Ohio River Basin,” he said.

Other highlights include $9.2 million for the district’s system of 23 locks and dams along the Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio rivers.

Short said the appropriations will help fund a $6.6 million contract to build a set of auxiliary chamber miter gates at New Cumberland Lock and Dam on the Ohio River near Stratton, Ohio. The project is the first step toward getting the auxiliary chamber back in service for navigation use, the corps said.

The East Branch Clarion River Lake Dam Safety Project in Elk County will receive $18.7 million to add to $14 million already provided in the 2019 budget. The additional money will be used to continue construction of a 2,100-foot long, 260-foot deep concrete cutoff wall within the existing earthen dam to permanently address seepage-related issues, according to corps’ officials.

Total federal appropriations for fiscal year 2019 are expected to exceed more than $250 million, according to Short.

Paul Peirce is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Paul at 724-850-2860, [email protected] or via Twitter @ppeirce_trib.

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