Senator Alexander Pushes to Revive Work on Stalled Chickamauga Lock

Because of structural safety concerns, the existing lock at Chickamauga Dam, completed in 1940, must be replaced.

Senator Lamar Alexander says he wants to jump start construction of a new Tennessee River lock at Chickamauga. The Maryville Republican says he plans to push an industry backed increase on fuel taxes charged to barge operators. Fresh revenue would restart work to replace the crumbling, 75-year-old lock outside Chattanooga. Alexander says the higher “usher” fee would restore money to the inland waterways trust fund. Alexander tells the Chattanooga Times Free Press closure of the Chickamauga lock is not an option. He says choking off barge traffic upstream to Knoxville would badly ding the economy. His plan faces opposition from members of the Tea Party, who flatly oppose any form of federal revenue growth.

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