Private sector investments could expedite much-needed up­­grades to Mississippi and Illinois River locks and dams, but there are significant questions about how such a system would work, according to a new study by the soybean checkoff.

The study investigates the risks and rewards of proposed Public-Private Partnerships (P3) for fin­ancing waterway infrastructure im­provements and operations.

"There’s a lot of interest in it, but there’s not a lot of understanding," said Mike Steenhoek, executive director of the Soy Transportation Coal­­ition. "There are some potential opportunities, but there are also some obstacles. We need to have our eyes wide open as we go into this."

Pilot projects

A series of pilot projects to examine the feasibility of a...