CHICAGO

Asian Carp: Closing Locks Would Cost Illinois $4.7 Billion, Chamber Of Commerce Projects

06/07/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

An economic impact study commissioned the by the Illinois Chamber of Commerce projects the cost of closing Chicago-area navigational locks to shipping could be as much as $4.7 billion over the next 20 years, an estimate far exceeding the one produced by two business consultants hired by Michigan's attorney general in February.

The study, led by DePaul University economist Joseph Schwieterman, anticipates an economic loss to the Chicago region of about $531 million annually over the first seven years and a long-term net loss of about $4.7 billion over 20 years.

"It is the chamber's hope that this study will bring some well-reasoned perspective to a debate that has been fueled by rhetoric from the state of Michigan," Jim Farrell, executive director of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce's Infrastructure Council, said in a statement released Wednesday.

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