Funding go-ahead for Mississippi River deepening seen as boon for exports

Date: Tuesday, August 4, 2020
Source: American Shipper

Funding go-ahead for Mississippi River deepening seen as boon for exports

Sean Duffy has been waiting since 2012 for a critical development in a plan to deepen the Mississippi River Ship Channel to 50 feet. The wait ended on Friday with a partnership agreement from the state of Louisiana that authorizes the $250 million project to move forward.

“Having the state agreement is huge,” Duffy, executive director of the Big River Coalition, told FreightWaves. “We’ve been working with the state on this for eight years. They’ve told us the money was going to be there and that they were behind the project, and this confirms that. Now the dredging contracts can be issued and the deepening can begin.”

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards’ and Louisiana Department of Transportation Secretary Shawn Wilson’s signoff with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers essentially unlocked federal funding within the Army Corps’ budget that had already been allocated to the project.

“When completed, this project will allow larger vessels that can currently use the widened Panama Canal to reach Louisiana ports as far north as Baton Rouge,” commented Bel Edwards. “It will also allow for some vessels to carry heavier loads.”

The project, which could be completed as early as 2024, will deepen from 45 to 50 feet two sections within a 256-mile stretch of the Lower Mississippi River from the Port of Baton Rouge south to the Gulf of Mexico. It will allow bulk cargo vessels to take on full loads at river ports instead of having to partially load and transfer cargo to larger ships elsewhere.

Sean Duffy has been waiting since 2012 for a critical development in a plan to deepen the Mississippi River Ship Channel to 50 feet. The wait ended on Friday with a partnership agreement from the state of Louisiana that authorizes the $250 million project to move forward.

“Having the state agreement is huge,” Duffy, executive director of the Big River Coalition, told FreightWaves. “We’ve been working with the state on this for eight years. They’ve told us the money was going to be there and that they were behind the project, and this confirms that. Now the dredging contracts can be issued and the deepening can begin.”

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards’ and Louisiana Department of Transportation Secretary Shawn Wilson’s signoff with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers essentially unlocked federal funding within the Army Corps’ budget that had already been allocated to the project.

“When completed, this project will allow larger vessels that can currently use the widened Panama Canal to reach Louisiana ports as far north as Baton Rouge,” commented Bel Edwards. “It will also allow for some vessels to carry heavier loads.”

The project, which could be completed as early as 2024, will deepen from 45 to 50 feet two sections within a 256-mile stretch of the Lower Mississippi River from the Port of Baton Rouge south to the Gulf of Mexico. It will allow bulk cargo vessels to take on full loads at river ports instead of having to partially load and transfer cargo to larger ships elsewhere.

Read from original source.

 

BROWSE MORE ARTICLES

E-MAIL TO COLLEAGUE

NOTIFY ME WHEN NEW ARTICLES ARE POSTED

SOUND FAMILIAR? HAVE A SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT ISSUE? CONTACT US