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Mississippi River 50-foot deepening gets $85M this year

PortandTerminal.com, February 11, 2020

WASHINGTON, D.C.—House Republican Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) yesterday announced that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 2020 Work Plan includes critical funding for infrastructure projects in Louisiana, including $85 million to deepen the Mississippi River to 50 feet.

Deepening the river will enable the Port of New Orleans to move more traffic and cargo, while the state will be able to take the sediment and use it to rebuild the coast, increasing lifesaving flood protection, according to US Rep. Steve Scalise.

The deepening project will allow modern “New Panamax” vessels, built larger than past ships to use the widened Panama Canal, and “Post Panamax” vessels that may be too large even for the canal, to travel as far north as Baton Rouge, as long as their superstructure fits below the Crescent City Connection bridge in New Orleans. 

In all, 256 miles of the river will be deepened where it passes through four of the nation’s top 15 ports: the Plaquemines Port, Harbor and Terminal District; the Port of New Orleans; the Port of South Louisiana; and the Port of Baton Rouge. 

President Trump’s proposed fiscal year 2021 budget, also released on Monday, includes another $45.7 million for the dredging project.

Projects for Louisiana in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 2020 Work Plan include:

Construction Funding

  • $85.35 million to initiate construction of channel deepening for the Mississippi River to 50 feet.
  • $18 million to construct disposal capacity containment dikes for the Calcasieu River and Pass.
  • $500,000 to complete the Iberia Parish El Wastewater Improvements Master Plan.
  • $40.58 million for the J Bennett Johnston Waterway.
  • $2 million for Livingston Parish environmental infrastructure projects.
  • $25 million for SELA Algiers Sub-Basin project. 

Operation and Maintenance Funding:

  • $5 million for Houma Navigation Canal dredging and maintenance needs.
  • $850,000 for Bayou Lafourche for dredging and maintenance needs.
  • $1.35 million for Mississippi River, Outlets at Venice for dredging and maintenance needs.
  • $249.91 million for Mississippi River, Baton Rouge to the Gulf of Mexico, dredging and maintenance needs.

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