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MRCTI Supports Infrastructure Bill

The giant infrastructure bill approved by the US Senate is "a giant step forward for the nation." That's according to the Mississippi River Cities and Towns Initiative (MRCTI) which has 102 members from Minnesota to Louisiana.

Co-Chair Bettendorf Mayor Bob Gallagher says the bill contains money for flood mitigation, one of the group's top priorities.

"If we were able to add wetlands and marshes, if we could re-connect some backwaters and flood plains, we would have an opportunity to store some of this water. And then hopefully keep it from inundating our cities."

These changes would also result in cleaner water and boost tourism along the river.

Gallagher says another key part of the infrastructure bill is creation of a resilience revolving loan fund, with 100 million dollars available each year for five years.

"We can access these funds in the revolving loan fund to do projects across city lines and state lines, in this more holistic approach, so that the money being used is being used as efficiently as possible up and down the river."

The bill also sets aside money for lock and dam maintenance, watershed rehabilitation, and improving bridges across the Mississippi River, possibly including the I-80 Bridge between LeClaire and Rapids City.