Illinois Rep. Mike Bost sent a letter to the Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers this week, urging a halt to the potential construction of the St. Johns Bayou and New Madrid Floodway project in Missouri.
Concerns have been raised that the Missouri project could increase flood risk on the Illinois side of the river, particularly in the city of Cairo.
“I believe that construction of the St. Johns Bayou project could further complicate the U.S. Army Corps decision-making on a potential future activation of the floodway, especially during rapidly unfolding emergencies like the Flood of 2011,” said Rep. Bost.
“The New Madrid Floodway was authorized and constructed to reduce water levels during periods of extreme flows down the Mississippi River and the overall system should be managed by primarily for that purpose. For this reason, I urge you to consider a recommendation of no action on the construction project.”
The Army Corps of Engineers is in the process of completing a Final Environmental Impact Statement on the proposed project that will determine the agency’s next course of action, such as whether to not to move forward with construction.