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Louisiana, USACE Sign Agreement

[ August 5, 2020   //   ]

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards and other top Louisiana officials have signed a formal agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to begin construction on the deepening of the Lower Mississippi River to 50 feet from 45 feet. This project will provide deep draft access to the ports at Baton Rouge, New Orleans, South Louisiana, St. Bernard and Plaquemines.
“This is a great day for the people of Louisiana who depend on the Mississippi River for their livelihood,” said Gov. John Bel Edwards. “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. It will also allow for some vessels to carry heavier loads. Nationwide, industries that depend on this Mississippi River to move goods will benefit greatly from this dredging project.”
Brandy D. Christian, President and CEO of the Port of New Orleans added the project will help to make Louisiana’s world-renowned port system even more competitive, while creating opportunities for manufacturers, shippers, growers and producers who rely on the Mississippi River.
The overall project will provide a draft of 50-feet from the Port of Baton Rouge to the Gulf of Mexico over 256 miles of the Mississippi River. In addition, the material dredged from the first thirty miles of the project near the mouth of the Mississippi River will restore an estimated 1,462 acres of critical marsh habitat. Phase 1 of the project will provide a 50-foot channel from the Gulf of Mexico through Southwest Pass to Belmont Crossing and open up approximately 175 miles of the ship channel to the deeper draft, encompassing the entire jurisdiction of Port NOLA.
“The deepening of the ship channel to 50 feet is a historic project that will bring the nation’s most prolific artery of trade into the modern post Panamax era,” said Sean Duffy, Executive Director of the Big River Coalition. “The deepening will offer significant cost savings to shippers and promote economy of scale efficiencies that will help stimulate trade for decades.”

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