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Industry hails $85m in funding to deepen lower Mississippi river

The deepening of the lower Mississippi river deepening to 50 feet has received funding approval and will be included in the US Army Corps of Engineers work plan 2020.

“After years of hard work, I’m very glad that the Corps included over $160m for critical infrastructure projects in Louisiana, including $85m to deepen the lower Mississippi River to 50 feet. 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,” said House Republican Whip Steve Scalise (R-La).

“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,” said Scalise.

The funding for the deepening of the river was hailed by the maritime industries in the region.

“Louisiana – where the American tugboat, towboat and barge industry supports over 50,000 jobs and generates over $2.5bn 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.”

“This is fantastic news for the Port of New Orleans and the entire Lower Mississippi River,” said Brandy Christian, port Ppesident and ceo. “ 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.”

Projects for Louisiana in the US Army Corps of Engineers 2020 Work Plan include:

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

Operation and Maintenance Funding will receive also some $7.2m.

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