Eastern Iowans with concerns about the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ plan for the upper Mississippi River will be able to offer their comments today at a hearing in Davenport and tomorrow in Dubuque. Paul Rohde, vice president of the Midwest Area River Coalition, says the river management plan has been 12 years and 70-million dollars in the making. The Corps is holding an open house throughout the day so people can see the navigation progress to date and is then letting people provide input that will be incorporated into the study. Rohde says eastern Iowans would see some significant changes if the Corps’ plan gets full federal approval. Rohde says the Corps will recommend to Congress the immediate start of construction of seven new lock chambers at key locations on the upper Mississippi and Illinois rivers. Included in that will be new lock extensions into Iowa and some nonstructural improvements that should help the locking process. On the ecosystem side, Rohde says the Corps is looking at mostly restoration projects and improving the environmental stability of the upper Mississippi and Illinois rivers with a 50-year aggressive, forward-thinking undertaking. Tonight’s hearing is at the Davenport Holiday Inn on Brady Street while tomorrow’s hearing is at the Grand Harbor Resort in Dubuque. The open houses run from 2 to 4 P.M., registration for the hearings is from 5:30 to 6:30, with the hearings beginning at 6:30 and running through 9:30. For more information, surf to “www.newlocks.org” or call (314) 436-7303.
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