Report: Deepen Mississippi River for bigger cargo ships
NEW ORLEANS - The Army Corps of Engineers says the Mississippi River should be dredged so three southeast Louisiana ports can accept the bigger cargo ships built to take advantage of the Panama Canal's expansion.
Many other U.S. ports either already have completed similar projects or are trying to get them approved.
Parts of the shipping channel are now about 42 to 45 feet deep. The plan calls for increasing that depth to 50 feet.
Nola.com/The Times-Picayune reports that the corps plans to use some of the dredged-up silt to make more than 1,460 acres of new wetlands.
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development would pay $45.7 million of the estimated $88.9 million cost. The corps estimates $96.8 million in net annual benefits to the U.S. economy.