The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will receive $7.9 million in federal funding that will be used for maintenance of the locks, dams and levees on the Ouachita River.
While approximately $2 million more is needed for ongoing maintenance efforts, the latest funding is a major milestone.
Working together, U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham, Ouachita River Valley Association (ORVA), the Tensas Basin Levee District and CenturyLink’s economic development departments have been instrumental in helping secure the project’s funding in this year’s federal budget.
“Congress has increased overall funding for the Army Corps of Engineers, and I’m confident we will get the additional resources we need for this project, just as we’ve been successful in getting funding in the past,” commented Dr. Abraham.
The City of Monroe and about 150 other municipalities in Arkansas and Louisiana depend on the roughly 600-mile long Ouachita River for drinking water. Further, a multitude of businesses would not be able to operate without access to a fully functioning Ouachita River.
- In 2017, the preservation project received an additional $2 million in funding, for a grand total of $10.4 million.
- In 2018, full funding for the project was secured.
- The Ouachita River, which begins in the Ouachita Mountains near Mena, Ark., flows east into Lake Ouachita, a reservoir created by Blakely Mountain Dam.
- The commercial navigation project provides year-round navigation from the mouth of the Black River to Camden, Ark., a distance of 330 river miles. The navigation project is made possible by four locks and dams operated and maintained by the Army Corps of Engineers on the Ouachita River located at Calion, and Felsenthal, Ark., and in Columbia and Jonesville, La.