By Miles Brown
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Little Rock District, reports that the President’s Fiscal Year 2017 Budget includes $99 million in federal funding for the district’s civil works program.
This is part of the $4.6 billion in discretionary funding for the Army Corps civil works program worldwide. The proposed funding will improve the reliability and resilience of the district’s multi-purpose reservoirs and inland waterway navigation system, while enhancing the environment, generating hydroelectric power, providing recreational activities to the public and reducing the risk of flooding.
The FY17 budget provides $56 million for operation and maintenance of 12 reservoirs across Arkansas and southern Missouri. The reservoirs provide flood risk reduction in the White River and Little River watersheds. More than 2.5 million people visit the district’s lakes each year for recreation. Additionally, several of the district’s reservoirs provide reliable drinking water to more than 400,000 people every year.
Also included in the budget is $42 million in operations and maintenance funds to provide reliable navigation via the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System. The Three Rivers Study, a three-year study of navigation and environmental issues at the confluence of the Arkansas, Mississippi and White rivers, received $580,000 in the FY17 budget. The MKARNS supports the transport of bulk commodities and significantly reduces pollution and the wear and tear of roadways. More than 6,000 loaded barges carrying 12 million tons of material pass through district locks annually; that keeps the equivalent of 450,000 semi-trucks off the region’s roads.
A list of projects and proposed funds is available at the Army Corps of Engineers’ web site at http://www.usace.army.mil/Missions/CivilWorks/Budget.aspx, under the heading Program Budget: Press Books.
Little Rock District manages $6.5 billion in public infrastructure across 750,000 acres of public land and water. We are responsible for more than 300 miles of navigable waterways, 13 navigation locks and dams, seven hydroelectric power plants, 146 public parks, and 12 multi-purpose reservoirs which have prevented more than $3 billion in flood damages.
The district’s additional missions include emergency response and regulatory responsibilities in Arkansas. For more news and information about the USACE Little Rock District visit http://www.swl.usace.army.mil. Find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LittleRockUSACE