Lower Mississippi River to be Dredged to 50'View Source
Breakbulk ships at the Nashville Avenue wharf. Port of New Orleans photo
The 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′.
“After years of hard work, I’m very glad that the Corps included over $160 million for critical infrastructure projects in Louisiana, including $85 million to deepen the lower Mississippi River to 50 feet,” U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., said in a prepared statement. “As home to the mouth of the Mississippi River, this is excellent news for Southeast Louisiana and our ability to move more commerce through the Port of New Orleans.”
Scalise said the Mississippi River Basin has an unprecedented impact on the national economy, global competitiveness, and U.S. job creation. Modernizing infrastructure and deepening the river to 50′ will help strengthen Louisiana’s dominance in domestic and international commerce.
“This critical project also provides a dual benefit of rebuilding Louisiana’s vanishing coastline. Deepening the river will give the state the ability to take that sediment and use it to rebuild our coast, increasing lifesaving flood protection,” he said. “I applaud the Corps for advancing this project and for their commitment to maintaining our waterways which are not only vital to Louisiana’s economy, but also to our national economy.”
“Louisiana — where the American tugboat, towboat and barge industry supports over 50,000 jobs and generates over $2.5 billion in GDP annually — is an epicenter of American maritime commerce,” said Jennifer Carpenter, president and CEO of the American Waterways Operators. “This industry’s ability to provide for the people of Louisiana and the nation requires that vital waterways like the Mississippi River be maintained at the level necessary to support the uninterrupted flow of commercial traffic. AWO applauds Whip Scalise for ensuring that Mississippi River is able to facilitate the high volume of maritime commerce coming into and out of Louisiana to support our national economy.”
Brandy Christian, Port of New Orleans president and CEO, said it was fantastic news for the port and the entire Lower Mississippi River. “We applaud the efforts of our Congressional delegation, as well as the Big River Coalition and Louisiana’s maritime stakeholders to secure the necessary funding for the future of international commerce in Louisiana. A deeper Mississippi River channel will benefit ocean carriers, shippers, growers and manufacturers alike and is essential to the Port’s competitiveness in the global economy.”