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John Null/WKMS

Work has completed on the first wave of construction on a new navigational lock at Kentucky Dam.

Crews on Wednesday topped out the last of nine massive concrete monoliths that will make up the walls of the new lock. Those nine were part of a $97 million contract awarded in 2010. A remaining 52 monoliths need to be built, but work hasn’t been contracted yet due to sluggish funding.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

President Barack Obama signed the Freedom to Fish Act into law today, placing a two-year moratorium on restricting fishing access to the tailwaters of dams on the Cumberland River.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers wanted to install signage and a line of buoys separating fishermen from what they characterize hazardous waters. Legislators like Sen. Mitch McConnell felt that the economic impact on tourism outweighed any potential dangers.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate have passed legislation to prevent the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers from installing barriers in the tailwaters of Cumberland River dams.

The House passed the measure unanimously Tuesday.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

The U.S. Senate passed a bill Wednesday to stop the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from restricting fishing access around Corps dams, specifically along the Cumberland River.

Sen. Mitch McConnell sponsored the bill.

The Corps of Engineers wants to install signage and a line of buoys separating fishermen from what they characterize “hazardous waters.” Legislators like McConnell felt the economic impact it would have on tourism outweighed any potential dangers.

Construction on the Olmsted Lock and Dam Project in Southern Illinois has been ongoing for 20 years, 13 years over schedule. Now a completion date is set for 2026. The final cost of the project will be almost 4 times the initial estimate. Shelly Baskin spoke with Project Engineer Richard Schipp on the problems plaguing the project and what lies ahead for the site.