DHS Report on Aging and Failing Infrastructure – Dams and Locks

Key Findings

  • Fifty-four percent of Inland Marine Transportation System (IMTS) structures are more than 50 years old; 36 percent are more than 70 years old.
  • Mechanical breakdowns resulting in lock closures steadily increased from 2000 to 2010.
  • The Inland Waterways Trust Fund (IWTF) is an important funding source for lock construction and rehabilitation, but the barge fuel tax that funds the IWTF has not increased since 1995. This tax would need to increase by more than 50 percent to have the same purchasing power today.
  • Dam projects are expensive, and funds are limited. As a result, priority projects are often delayed, which leads to more unscheduled lock closures.

DHS Report – Aging and Failing Infrastructure – Dams and Locks

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