WRDA would cost $12.5 billion over 10 years, CBO says

By Derrick Cain

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WASHINGTON, April 11, 2013 - Implementation of legislation (S. 601) that would authorize funding to modernize the nation's locks and dams, assist with flood protection and restore key environmental areas would cost about $12.5 billion over a 10-year period, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) said April 9.

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The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee recently approved the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), which aims to promote investment in the nation's critical water resources infrastructure, accelerate project delivery, and reform the implementation of Corps of Engineers projects. Supporters said the bill would create up to 500,000 new jobs.

The CBO report estimated the water resource projects portion of the legislation would cost $3.4 billion over the five-year period of 2014-2018, including $900 million for the controversial Olmsted Lock and Dam project in Illinois.

The report estimated the water resources policy reforms portion of the bill would cost about $1 billion over a five-year period. These provisions include authorizing the Army Corps of Engineers to launch a pilot program to stabilize riverbanks and reduce erosion on inland and intracostal waterways.

To implement provisions related to levee safety, the CBO estimated it would cost $443 million over the five-year period.

Further, the report estimated that $235 million over the five-year period would be needed to implement provisions related to harbor maintenance.

The report did not provide 10-year estimates for the specific provisions.

The full CBO report can be viewed here.


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