That first report is thus a prelude to this second report and is essential background information for readers seeking a more complete understanding of this report. This second report reviews and evaluates the Corps’ April 2004 draft feasibility study. That report from the Corps represents the most recent and comprehensive document in the feasibility study (the entire draft feasibility study and environmental impact statement can be found at http://www2.mvr.usace.army.mil/umr-iwwsnsl, accessed November 11, 2004). The 2004 draft report is more than 600 pages in length and contains 18 chapters on topics that focus on commercial navigation system improvements and ecosystem restoration measures. Additional details of the Corps feasibility study are listed later in this report, especially in Chapter 3.
Following completion of its first report, this committee held three meetings before issuing this second report. In St. Louis in December 2003, the committee spoke with several analysts and agricultural and navigation (and others) interest group representatives. These analysts included representatives from Sparks Companies, Inc. of Memphis, Tennessee and from-the Volpe Transportation Center of Cambridge, Massachusetts. Both of these centers were enlisted by the Corps to produce reports for use in the feasibility study, and comments on those reports are included herein. At a meeting in Irvine, California, in February 2004, the committee met with several Corps of Engineers staff to discuss details and revisions to the feasibility study. Then in Red Wing, Minnesota, in May 2004, the committee spoke again with several Corps staff members, independent analysts, and representatives from environmental groups with interests in the UMR-IWW and the feasibility study. The meetings provided essential information about the feasibility study, its various inputs, and concerns of interest groups on all sides of the issue. In addition to meeting with these various groups at these three meetings, the committee also met in closed sessions in order to discuss guest speaker presentations and continue working on this report.
Following this introductory chapter, Chapter 2 describes the resources and uses of the Upper Mississippi River-Illinois Waterway system and some approaches and issues regarding multiple-purpose river management. Chapter 3 reviews details of the feasibility study and presents findings and recommendations. Like the Corps feasibility study, it includes sections on ecosystem restoration and commercial navigation. Chapter 4 is this report’s final chapter, and it discusses the Corps’ strategy for implementing the feasibility study.