St. Louis, MO – U-S House passage of a rivers bill has barge operators convinced they can get the measure through the Senate as well. The bill would provide $1.8 billion for new locks on the Illinois and Mississippi rivers. Among the projects would be one on the Illinois River at LaGrange and one on the Mississippi River south of Keokuk. Paul Rhode of the Midwest America River Coalition says those who lobbied for the bill include barge operators, environmentalists and groups working for better flood control. In addition to the new locks, the bill includes $1.6 million to restore wildlife habitat and help mitigate flooding.