Downstate Water Projects Move Forward Under Infrastructure Act

Delaware will get ‘historic’ investments into water infrastructure projects, according to the state’s congressional delegation.

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, signed by President Biden in November, directs $51.5-million to The First State in Fiscal Year 2022 through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Improvements at Indian River Inlet, dredging of the Lewes and Rehoboth Canal, and repair and stabilization of the Harbor of Refuge Lighthouse in Delaware Bay would be funded, according to Senators Tom Carper and Chris Coons and Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester.

“The Corps’ investments are critical to the economy of Delaware,” Carper said. “Our abundance of 5-star beaches and important waterways, the Corps is an essential partner in the First State’s water resources infrastructure. That’s why we fought for historic funding for the Corps as part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The continued operation and needed repairs of these projects are just the tip of the iceberg in building a stronger economy in the First State that is more resilient to threats like climate change.”

According to the delegation:

Delaware will benefit from $51.5 million in fiscal year 2022 for the repair and operations of four major water infrastructure projects. These key projects include:

·      $250,000 for repairing and stabilizing the Harbor of Refuge Lighthouse. Located in Delaware Bay, the lighthouse is on the National Register of Historic Places.

·      $43.8 million for finishing and repairing the Indian River Inlet. Thenavigation channel at Indian River Inlet provides the local Coast Guard Station with its sole access point to the Atlantic Ocean.

·      $3.2 million for replacing contaminated waterway infrastructure and stabilizing the Intracoastal Waterway between the Delaware River and the Chesapeake Bay (C&D Canal). The C&D Canal system connects the Port of Baltimore to the ports of Wilmington (DE), Philadelphia, and northern trade routes.

·      $3.8 million for completing maintenance dredging along the Intracoastal Waterway from Rehoboth Bay to Delaware Bay (Lewes and Rehoboth Canal). The Lewes and Rehoboth Canal is a shallow-draft navigation project utilized by both commercial and recreational users.

“Delaware’s ports and waterways are absolutely critical to sustaining the strength of our nation. Through national and international trade, our waterways connect us to the rest of the world and help bolster our state’s economy exponentially. As we continue to use resources from the bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, I’m optimistic that we will produce high-quality, good-paying jobs, while putting the revitalization of our state on the forefront,” Coons said.

“Investing in our state’s water infrastructure is vitally important to the well-being of our state,” Blunt Rochester said. “I’m thrilled that over $51 million secured through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will be used to fund four major water infrastructure projects in Delaware including repairs and improvements at our historic beaches and waterways. This is another exciting example of how the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is helping our state make long-overdue investments to our infrastructure, creating good-paying jobs, and spurring economic growth.”

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