NEWS: Delta Regional Authority, partners invest $409,000 to repair Brookport levee system

January 30, 2018

Economic Development Administration provides funding support 

BROOKPORT, IL. – The Delta Regional Authority (DRA), through a program partnership with the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA), today announced a $409,000 investment to repair a deteriorating levee system in the City of Brookport and protect area residents, businesses and city operations that are exposed to potential disastrous flooding. DRA is investing $359,000 in the project, with the remainder coming from the city.

“This is a community that has been devastated by flooding in the past,” said Gov. Bruce Rauner. “Smart investments, like this one in Brookport’s physical infrastructure, will ensure that families, their homes and their children’s school are safe.”

The Brookport levee is in immediate need of repairs. The discharge pipe that runs under the levee is extremely deteriorated and in danger of collapsing, which would cause the levee to fail and expose the entire area to flooding from the Ohio River.

Illinois’ congressional delegation released the following statements in support of the initiative:

“Thanks to this funding from the Delta Regional Authority, the residents and businesses of Brookport will be protected from potentially dangerous and disastrous flooding due to deteriorating infrastructure,” said Sen. Richard Durbin. “I will continue working alongside the DRA to ensure Illinois’ communities have access to the critical federal resources they need to thrive.” 

"Supporting and rebuilding out nation’s infrastructure is one of my top priorities in the Senate, and this funding will go a long way toward keeping the residents of Brookport safe," Sen. Tammy Duckworth said. "After meeting with DRA’s new Federal Co-Chairman Chris Caldwell last month to discuss the need for investments and strong partners in Southern Illinois, I look forward to working together to secure funding for additional improvements like this in Brookport, but also in Cairo, Golconda and throughout downstate Illinois."

“Having seen firsthand the devastation that Brookport has faced in previous floods, I am so thankful that this problem is being fixed,” said Rep. John Shimkus. “The community has been vocal over the years, and we have worked with them and other agencies to get to this point.”

Brookport’s levee has a six-foot void and also is facing continued erosion. The city will be in serious danger as soon as the area experiences heavy rain or climbing river gauges. A levee failure would allow the Ohio River to empty into the city, exposing 30 homes, a school with 250 students and three elderly and low-income housing complexes to immediate flooding. Brookport City Hall and the city’s police and fire stations also would be immediately affected. Estimates show the city would be flooded in 48 hours.   

“We appreciate EDA’s willingness to continue investing in the Delta region,” said Chris Caldwell, federal co-chairman of DRA. “This critical infrastructure investment will enhance Brookport’s ability to attract new industry while also protecting residents and businesses.”

 

About the Delta Regional Authority
The Delta Regional Authority is a federal-state partnership created by Congress in 2000 to help create jobs, build communities, and improve lives through strategic investments in economic development in 252 counties and parishes across eight states. To date, DRA’s investments have exceeded $3.7 billion – including contributions from federal, state and local partners – and have supported infrastructure improvements, workforce development and training, and increased community capacity. These investments have helped create or retain more than 38,000 jobs, trained more than 8,400 workers for 21st Century jobs, and provided water and sewer service to more than 75,000 families since DRA was established. Learn more at dra.gov.

About the Economic Development Administration
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation's regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth. Learn more at eda.gov.

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Media Contact:
Andrew Moreau
202-744-3558
amoreau@dra.gov