The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which owns and is responsible for most harbor breakwaters, years ago determined the Milwaukee breakwater is in need of overall repair, said Larry Sullivan, chief engineer for the Port of Milwaukee. But the proposed 2011 Corps budget includes only $625,000 for an Army Corps ship and crew to repair the most-damaged parts of the structure.
“There’s probably a billion dollars worth of development here that the breakwater is there to protect,” he said.A broken breakwater is not unique in the Great Lakes. The Army Corps’ 2009-13 capital plan reported that 80 percent of the breakwaters in the Great Lakes are older than the 50 years they were designed to last.
Annual budgets simply don’t dedicate enough money to keep up with needs, said Bill O’Donoghue, chief of the Army Corps Detroit office’s technical services branch.“They just don’t fund these repairs anymore,” he said.
By co-incidence, the Feds will waste nearly $1Bn on a choochoo to Madistan.