By Daily News staff

U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., co-sponsored legislation this week that would advance key infrastructure projects on the Mississippi River to help ensure barge travel is not disrupted.

The Reinvesting in Vital Economic Rivers and Waterways (RIVER) Act of 2013 would help move forward major construction projects, including much-needed rehabilitation of the locks and dams along the Mississippi River.

“Our waterways play a vital role in Minnesota’s economy,” Klobuchar said in a statement. “Investing in our waterways, including rehabilitating the locks and dams along the Mississippi River, is critical to ensuring that barge traffic can continue so businesses can get their goods to market.”

The RIVER Act will help make sure the Inland Waterways Trust Fund remains viable and can continue to support projects to speed up rehabilitation of the locks and dams. The bill increases fuel fees paid by users and would take steps to ensure that projects are completed in a timely fashion and do not exceed cost estimates. The bill is supported by the Waterways Council Inc., a consortium of organizations that ship or provide shipping services on the inland waterways.