Almost $60 million in federal funding has been set aside to fix a lock on the Illinois River considered vital for barges containing agricultural goods.
Funding for the LaGrange Lock and Dam was announced last week by the U.S. House. Some money was already allotted to start renovations on the Central Illinois facility near Beardstown. 1988 was the last time the lock underwent major repairs. According to Congress, around 60 percent of the country's grain exports move through locks on the Upper Mississippi and Illinois rivers.
Frequent shutdowns in the area hurt the region's economy, according to U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis. Meanwhile, Rep. Darin LaHood says repairs are needed to ensure products can move properly around the world.