U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Announces Funding of Six Port Channel Projects

This article has been reprinted from the Feb. 20 USDA Grain Transportation Report.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has allocated $403 million in response to port requests to accommodate growing vessel sizes.

The most funding ($274 million) went to the Port of Mobile, AL, to dredge its port channel to 50 feet (ft.), followed by $85 million to deepen the Mississippi River to 50 ft. between the Gulf of Mexico and a point between the Ports of New Orleans and Baton Rouge in Louisiana.

Other allocations included $29.1 million to Port Everglades, FL, for widening the Intracoastal Waterway by 250 ft.; $13.3 million for dredging and maintenance work in Jacksonville (FL) Harbor; $1.5 million for a study on deepening the Seagirt Loop Channel for the Port of Baltimore (MD); and $200,000 for completing the NY and NJ Harbor Navigation Improvements Study for the Ports of New York and New Jersey.

A 2019 USDA study estimated that increasing the lower Mississippi draft depth to 50 feet would save $13.02 in ocean freight rates per metric ton of soybeans shipped from the Gulf.