The Army Corps of Engineers has released a detailed list of how it will divide $1.8 billion in fiscal-year 2018 civil-works funding among various projects. The work plan, released on June 11, includes $141 million for five new construction starts.
Congress spelled out where the Corps should spend $4.6 billion of the $6.8 billion it appropriated for civil works in the 2018 omnibus spending bill enacted March 23. The Corps work plan covers another part of the $6.8 billion, which Congress didn’t designate for specific projects and programs in the omnibus.
The plan has $922 million for the Corps construction account, $510 million for operation and maintenance, $172 million for the Mississippi River and tributaries account and $35 million for studies.
The largest construction-start allocation is $57.6 million for a major rehabilitation this year of the Soo Locks on the St. Mary’s River in Michigan. Members of that state’s congressional delegation have been pushing for a new 1,200-ft-long lock at that site. The overhaul is a temporary solution. John Doyle, special counsel for law and lobbying firm Jones Walker LLP, says, “They’ve got to rehab the existing lock to make sure that it continues to work as long as it needs to until the new one gets built.” Congress hasn’t authorized a new Soo Lock yet.
The work plan’s other new construction items are $50 million to finish design work and award a construction contract for flood control work at Sutter Basin, Calif.; $13.5 million for a berm at Lido Key beach in Sarasota, Fla.; $10 million to rehab LaGrange Lock and Dam on the Illinois River; and $10 million for environmental restoration at Lynnhaven River Basin in Virginia Beach, Va.