A large cash injection from Uncle Sam will allow the Lewis & Clark Regional Water Project to restart construction this spring in northwest Iowa, including in the towns of Hull and Sioux Center.

Project executive director Troy Larson says they’ve gotten official notification of federal funding from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.

“For FY ’21, Lewis & Clark will receive a total of $17.5-million for continued construction,” Larson says. “There’s certainly been years where it was a lot less than that, so this is really good news that we’re going to continue to see some healthy funding levels that will allow us to make good progress on the project.”

Larson says they have some projects to continue and some new ones to start. “We already have a 16-million-gallon-a-day collector well that’s under construction. Part of this money will go to finish that project,” Larson says. “And then we have a project we’ll award later this year that is a meter building at Sioux Center, the expansion of an existing meter building at Hull, and adding pumps to the Beresford pump station.”

Larson says the new funding keeps the project close to the timeline. “We’re making good progress,” he says. “When all that work is done, we’ll be able to connect Sioux Center and Hull by the spring of 2023, so those are the next two members that will be receiving water.”

First developed in 1989, the system is a partnership of cities and rural water districts in Iowa, Minnesota and South Dakota using some 340 miles of underground pipe to move treated water to communities from wells near the Missouri River, south of Vermillion.

(By Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton)