Posted on May 6, 2013 at 1:02 PM by Iowa Corn
On Monday, April 29, the congressional delegation toured three locks and dams within Iowa; Guttenberg #10, Dubuque #11 and Bellevue #12 to help promote repairs that are needed. With
Touring Guttenberg #10 as the Army Corporation
Area Manager discusses the issues we continue
to face with repairs that are needed.
(L to R – Army Corp. Area Manager, Congressman
Braley, John Finley, Lock Master of #10, Bob
Hemeseth and Tim Burrack.)
over 60 percent of exported grain going down the Mississippi River, fully functional locks and dams are vital.
The existing locks and dams were built during the Great Depression, but were only designed with a 50-year life. Now 80-years old, repairs are needed to get them fully functional again. The problem we are facing is the lock and dam structures were individually designed, so the repair costs are more. The roller gates on the dams are made of heavy metal and in Guttenberg they haven’t been painted for over 30-years. The problem is funding is not available, so simple updates such as these aren’t getting done.
Congressman Bruce Braley enjoyed visiting the locations in Iowa and Illinois since he had never personally experienced the systems.
When touring Bellevue #12, pictures were displayed when the lock and dam was being constructed. Back in 1934-1937, it is amazing to see nearly 1,000 men working on the project and nothing can seem to be done to provide simple repairs today.
The lock master at the Bellevue #12 said he appreciated shipping corn down the river. It was great to be a part of this tour and I am hopeful that the congressional visit will generate discussions on how funds can be raised to help repair the lock and dam systems, as these help export a great deal of grain our state produces. John Finley joined Iowa Corn in October 2012 as the district field manager for crop reporting district three. John graduated from Upper Iowa University, working in education and grain merchandising with different companies before coming to Iowa Corn. He grew up on a family farm in northeast Iowa and currently resides in Elkader, Iowa. John works with 11 counties in Iowa, promoting corn and implementing grassroots activities with county members.