Senator Bill Hagerty tours the Chickamauga Lock Replacement Project

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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn (WDEF) – Senator Bill Hagerty and the US Army corps of engineers toured the replacement project that’s currently underway at the Chickamauga Lock.

Senator Bill Hagerty says this type of infrastructure project will have an immediate return investment for Tennessee taxpayers.” 

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“Once this is done, it’s about $52.9 million of return investment every single year this project is put in the ground,” says Commander Sonny Avichal, US Army Corps of Engineers. 

“This Project dates back all the way to the 1940s. They have continued to maintain it and service the economy here in the local area. Now what we are going to see is a massive expansion,” says Tennessee Senator Bill Hagerty.

Officials say the replacement project is not only good for our local waterways, but it also has a major impact on our nation’s transit system. 

 “It makes our system for inland waterways much more reliable. Right now one barge equates to about 90 trucks on the road,” says Commander Avichal.

“If you think about improving our waterway system the environmental impact of that is significant. This has a real impact on safety if you  think about our highways. Our highways are constrained, as well, In terms of their capacity. It allows us to flex our system and put more on the water to help take some of the pressure off of our highway system. This is a project that’s good all the way around,” says Senator Hagerty.

Although the project will take several years, officials say it is almost fully funded. 

“The project is doing really well. We received $191 million in the last work plan. That will essentially be able to fund us for all of our remaining contracts as well,” says Commander Avichal.

The replacement Project is expected to be done by April 2024.