Budget cut threatens lock project

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Sen. Lamar Alexander says the Obama administration’s plan to slash $1.4 billion from the corps of engineers budget would stall work to replace the Chickamauga lock and delay vital maintenance on national waterway infrastructure for a decade or longer. The Maryville Republican says Obama wants to cut the corps budget by 23 percent, and won’t spend new money collected from an increase in the fuel tax applied against commercial barge operators. Barge companies agreed to a rate hike in order to repair or replace the Chickamauga lock on the Tennessee River at Chattanooga. Alexander warns failure to replace the crumbling, 75-year-old lock would kill commercial and recreational traffic up-river to Knoxville.

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