Corps commander says aging levees, dams, ports and harbours create delays along US waterways

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ commander general says the nation is falling behind on maintaining its aging levees, dams, ports and harbours.

Lt. Gen. Thomas Bostick spoke to reporters Wednesday during the Society of American Military Engineers conference in Kansas City, Missouri. He says finishing all the projects that have been authorized would cost about $23.5 billion, but the corps’ annual budget for the work usually hovers around $1.5 billion. He says that figure doesn’t include addressing a maintenance backlog.

Bostick says the corps is looking at alternative financing methods, including public-private partnerships.

The corps says 16 per cent of the dams it operates are categorized as extremely or very high risk. Since 2009, delays and interruptions have more than doubled on the nation’s inland waterways’ locks and dams.