The vice president of the state's manufacturing and logistics initiative says the end of the partial government shutdown will result in a “huge economic development win” for Indiana. David Holt says the agreement to end the shutdown includes lifting caps on what can be set aside to fund repairs to the Ohio River's Olmsted Locks. He says if the locks break down Indiana companies would not have access to the Mississippi River and would need to spend more money for an alternate route. Holt says a lot of Indiana's exports are railed or trucked to the Ohio River, then put on a barge that takes them into the Mississippi River and down to the Port of New Orleans. From there, the products are distributed around the world. Without access to the Mississippi, he says companies would have to send exports through Tennessee, which would increase costs.

Holt believes the remainder of the repairs to the locks will cost approximately $2.4 billion. Despite the large number, he says paying for the project now will ultimately save the federal government money by avoiding inflation costs in the future.

Source: Conexus Indiana

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