EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) -- Top federal lawmakers from Illinois are asking to meet with the Army Corps of Engineers to stump for its need to quickly permit planned improvements to levees along the Mississippi River.
Sens. Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk joined Congressmen Jerry Costello and John Shimkus in a letter requesting the meeting with Jo-Ellen Darcy, the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works.
Last month, the Southwestern Illinois Flood Prevention District Council released a five-year, $161 million plan to upgrade the levees in Madison, St. Clair and Monroe counties.
The improvements are meant to further safeguard the region and stave off the need for residents and businesses from having to pay increased flood insurance premiums.
The Army Corps must approve the planned upgrades before the work can begin.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)