Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Johnson Introduces Bills to Streamline Red River and Other Local Water Infrastructure Projects

by BIZ Magazine

WASHINGTON – U.S. Representative Mike Johnson (LA-04) introduced two bills that would help fast-track local water infrastructure projects, including a proposed plan to deepen and ultimately expand the Red River’s navigation lanes from Shreveport into Arkansas. Johnson’s bills would empower local governments to streamline projects.

Specifically, the bills reauthorize two now-expired pilot programs from the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) that freed the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to fund feasibility studies and project construction up-front. Without passage of Johnson’s bills, local governments and private stakeholders will be required to fund feasibility studies and construction on their own and then seek reimbursement from the USACE upon completion, resulting in long delays and increased costs.

“If we want to see movement on water infrastructure projects critical to Louisiana’s economy, Congress must pass these bills,” said Johnson. “I will fight tooth-and-nail to make sure any infrastructure package that passes through the House includes the restoration of these innovative and commonsense reforms.”

Johnson also testified before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee requesting that his bills be included in this year’s WRRDA package.

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