Governor Branstad visited Davenport to discuss making the most of the Mississippi River on Tuesday.
The mighty Mississippi plays a crucial role in the global economy moving $12 billion in products each year, but officials say its crumbling navigation system is way past its prime. It needs funding for upgrades to compete in a changing world.
“We can’t just keep kicking this can down the road,” said Iowa Governor Terry Branstad. “We’ve got to find new and innovative ways to do it.”
More than 100 participants from business, agriculture and government engaged in a debate over spending and investing in the outdated lock and dam system.
Since China receives so many U.S. exports Governor Branstad suggested that the country might be asked to invest in improving transportation along the river.
Other suggested solutions included keeping shipping on the river moving all-year-round.
Experts warn that each day of delay on a decision is a day closer to a catastrophic failure.
Thanks to our sister station WQAD for this story.