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An updated study of the economic benefit up upgrading the lock and dam system on the Illinois River was released this month by the Economic Development Research Group. The group, which conducts infrastructure cost/benefit studies for business and government, including the federal government, found maintaining and upgrading the lock system on the Illinois river would provide a boost for not only the Illinois economy but also for a number of other states. 

Paul Bingham is vice president of the Boston based Ec0nomic Development Research group.

The Illinois river helps support 1.7 million jobs and 110,000 Illinois businesses. The biggest benefit would be lower transportation costs for ag exports, but grain makes up less than half of the bulk shipping on the river. Petroleum, Coal, Chemicals and other items make up the bulk of the tonnage, impacting businesses from Chicago to New Orleans.

To see the economic impact to your county from upgrading the locks and dams on the Illinois River, the report is available on line.

The study was commissioned by the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, Illinois Farm Bureau, major commodity groups and other impacted businesses.

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