U.S. Representative Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Jefferson City) has teamed up with members of Congress from Iowa, Illinois and the entire Missouri delegation, in an effort to add more river corridor designations along the Missouri and Mississippi rivers to encourage the flow of imports and exports.
The Congressman is making an effort to promote navigation and economic development regionally on the two rivers by seeking a Marine Highway designation at two corridor connectors; the M-29 corridor that stretches from Kansas City to Sioux City along the Missouri river and the other, the M-94 corridor that stretches from St. Louis to St. Paul, Minnesota on the Mississippi river.
He says the Midwest the “bread basket” of the world, and if we’re going to continue to feed the world, he says we’re going to have to get exports out, and bring imports in. Luetkemeyer adds that securing such a critical designation from the Maritime Administration would expand the ability in moving products from the Midwest and distributing it to the world.
“A designation allows those areas of river to be able to qualify for some additional, technical assistance from the Maritime Administration,” Luetkemeyer said. “As well as, being in line for some grant money that may be available to improve terminals and other activities that need to be funded along the river.”
He says the designation is critical and the Maritime Administration would expand the ability in moving products from the Midwest and distributing it to the world. “The rivers are the cheapest and best way to do that and we want to make sure those continue to be efficient and effective,” Luetkemeyer said. “There are also significant upgrades that need to be made along the way to be able to get that done.”
Luetkemeyer says that by promoting navigation on the corridors it would enhance economic growth.
AUDIO: Mary Farucci reports. (1:03)