Senators, federal officials meet on levee concerns

NEW MADRID, Mo. (AP) - Missouri's two U.S. senators are continuing their push for answers on a project to close a 1,500-foot gap in a Mississippi River levee in southeast Missouri.

Republican Roy Blunt and Democrat Claire McCaskill met Tuesday with representatives from the Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Environmental Protection Agency. Corps officials agreed to give the senators a progress report by March 15.

At issue is a gap in the St. Johns Bayou and New Madrid Floodway levee. Construction was halted in 2007 due to technical problems with the project's Environmental Impact Statement.

Years of efforts by lawmakers to get the project re-started have failed.

McCaskill says getting all sides to sit down is progress, but Blunt is critical of the inability to resolve the issue.

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