MEMPHIS — Mayors from Mississippi River cities are calling on Congress to increase funding for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for infrastructure improvements and dredging projects that keep commerce flowing on the important waterway.
Leaders of the Mississippi Rivers Cities and Towns Initiative and the Delta Regional Authority addressed media Thursday after meeting in Memphis to discuss the Mississippi River economy. Thirteen mayors from Minnesota to Mississippi participated in the meeting, which resulted in agreements to help increase container shipping and reduce costly freight bottlenecks.
The meeting concluded the day after Congress voted to end a 16-day partial shutdown of the federal government. Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. said the group considered postponing the meeting, but decided to continue with the summit to call attention to issues related to the river economy.
The lower Mississippi River generated $164 billion in revenue and supported nearly 585,000 jobs in 2011, according to the Lower Mississippi River Conservation Committee.