Casey Urges Trump to Restore Money for Mon River Locks and Dams
Washington PA Observer-Reporter
13 June 2017
By Scott Beveridge
U.S. Sen. Bob Casey urged President Trump on Monday to include
money in his proposed budget to continue work on locks and dams on
the Monongahela River, including the one in Charleroi.
Casey also criticized the president for suggesting that tolls be
placed on those who navigate through locks on the river, something
that “could ultimately lead to an exit of companies from the
region,” the Democratic senator stated in a news release.
“I’m going to fight with everything I have to prevent this
ill-advised budget proposal.” Casey said at a news conference
aboard a Gateway Clipper sightseeing boat docked on the Mon in
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been overseeing underfunded
work on the Mon River between Braddock and Charleroi for decades.
The plan calls for replacing a lock at Charleroi and removing a
deteriorating dam in Elizabeth to improve navigation, especially
for barge traffic moving coal and other goods by water.
Work is continuing at present in Charleroi, but Trump’s budget
proposal fails to include any money for the Monongahela River
project, Casey said.
The Trump proposal would cut $976 million from the Corps’
allocations in fiscal year 2018, nearly one-sixth of the $6
billion that was appropriated in 2017, Casey said.
“We’re in danger of losing vital economic opportunity,” Casey
said. “Over 200,000 Pennsylvania jobs depend on the proper
functioning of the locks and dams on the Lower Monongahela River.
Peter Stephaich, chairman and chief executive officer of
Houston-based Campbell Transportation Co., which operates towboats
and barges on the Mon, attended the conference and, he said, it’s
frustrating how supporters of the project have to go back to
Congress every year to seek money for the work.
“I stay out of politics, but we just want to see the job
finished,” Stephaich said.
“Sen. Casey has been one of our big supporters,” he said.