Port business in the State of Louisiana should take a big increase in the future with the planned deepening of the Mississippi River south of Baton Rouge to the Gulf of Mexico
The bottom of the river is expected to be dredged to a depth of some 50 feet with an initial dredging of 54 feet to increase the time between maintenance dredging.
Depth of the river is being increased to allow the bigger ships, which will be using the Panama Canal since its recent enlargement to use the southern section of the river without unloading some of its overseas cargo before entering it with its larger load.
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development plans to pay $45.7 million of the estimated $88.9 million to provide the enlargement.
The proposal would allow the larger-loaded ships to access ports in Plaquemines, New Orleans and South Louisiana.
Some other ports are in the process getting them with deeper access available.
The shipping channel from just south of Baton Rouge to the Gulf of Mexico ranges from 42 to 45 feet at the present time.
The increase in cargo capacity is expected to bring an additional $96.8 million in net annual benefits to the U. S. economy, according to the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers.
The Corps plans to use some of the dredged up silt in the digging to create more than 1,460 acres of new wetlands, which Louisiana’s coast sorely needs.
The new marsh would increase the state’s fish and wildlife habitat, which would provide nesting habitat for waterfowl and nursery habitat for fish, according to the Corps of Engineer’s report.
Deepening of the Mississippi River south of Baton Rouge should bring a lot of new port and other business to the lower southeastern section of Louisiana.
We look forward to the benefits it should provide in making Louisiana a much larger market for increase port benefits in the future.