Several much-needed Kansas City flood control projects would receive federal funding under a bill passed by the U.S. Senate on Thursday.
The Water Resources Development Act, which easily passed the Senate 95-3, would authorize flood control and other water infrastructure projects in Missouri and across the country.
The areas in Kansas Kansas City slated for improvements funded by the bill include levees along the Missouri and Kansas Rivers, the Turkey Creek Basin Flood Project, and the Blue River Basin Project in the Dodson Industrial District.
“These are flood control projects that protect lots of jobs and protect lots of families,” said Republican Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri in a speech from the Senate floor on Thursday.
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The bill also includes $25 million for the dredging of the small ports on the Mississippi River.
“Missouri has more than 1,000 miles of navigable waterways that transport over $4 billion in cargo each year,” Blunt said. “Maintaining and improving our waterways and surrounding infrastructure is vital ... The bill passed by the Senate today marks an important step toward ensuring that we prioritize resources for the most critical and economically-beneficial projects, including the small ports that serve as on and off ramps to the Mississippi River.”
Next the bill must pass the U.S. House of Representatives before it can be signed into law by President Barack Obama.
Missouri Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, a Democrat from Kansas City, called on his colleagues in the House to pass the bill soon.
“We cannot afford to wait on these much needed changes,” said Cleaver, who worked with Missouri Republican Sam Graves to ensure the Kansas City projects were included in the House version of the bill.