LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, specifically the Little Rock district, are receiving millions of dollars from President Joe Biden’s fiscal year budget.
This funding comes from the $6.6 billion budget for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Civil Works program worldwide. The Little Rock district's cut is over $160 million.
Jay Woods the spokesperson for the Little Rock District of the Corps of Engineers said this money will directly impact millions of Arkansans.
"If we weren't able to maintain the camp grounds, the dams, help with flooding issues or anything like that then that's 20 million people that couldn’t go to any of our lakes across the state," Woods said.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Little Rock District received $163.6 million in federal funding for their civil works program.
$74.7 million of that will go towards operation and maintenance of 12 reservoirs across Arkansas and southern Missouri. $88.9 million is being used to maintain navigation for the McClellan Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System.
Woods said this money not only helps with the upkeep of Arkansas' parks, reservoirs and navigation systems, it also provides water necessary to some Arkansans.
"As part of the reservoir, over 400,000 people get their water from our impoundments, so this helps us maintain everything and provide good clean quality water for the residents of Arkansas and southern Missouri," Woods said.
This $163.6 million is the largest sum the Little Rock District has received and while it sounds like a huge number, Woods said if they didn't receive this kind of money or it wasn't enough to fund their maintenance projects, it would have a negative impact on our state.
"Like for the river, if we did not maintain it there would be hundreds of thousands more trucks on the road,” Woods said. “You've seen on I-30 and I-40 and all the construction you can imagine how much of a problem that would be."
On top of this $163.6 million, the Little Rock district of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers learned just days ago that they are receiving a separate $168.5 million dollars from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
Here’s a breakdown of where that money is going.
- $168.5 million in total from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
- $92.6 million will be used for the 12-foot channel deepening project on the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System.
- $62.7 million will be used for operation and maintenance for navigation.
- $2 million will go towards Nimrod Dam in West Central Arkansas for crane rehab, design and repair.
- $850,000 will go towards Clearwater Dam for crane repair.
- Millwood Lake is receiving $4.2 million for emergency repairs to Okay Levee in southwest Arkansas.
- The district’s Continuing Authorities Program also received an additional $6.2 million in funding allocations.