Study: Deeper Miss. River Would Add $11.5 Billion to U.S. Economy

MarineLink.com
Friday, August 23, 2013
U.S. Senator David Vitter

U.S. Senator David Vitter, the ranking member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, joined industry and Louisiana transportation officials here today for the release of a new economic impact report detailing the benefits of deepening the Mississippi River to 50 feet from its current 45-foot draft.

The Big River Coalition and the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development commissioned the study by noted economist Tim Ryan, PhD., entitled “The Economic Impact of Deepening the Mississippi River to 50 Feet.” Ryan determined a deeper channel allowing for larger vessels to maximize cargo throughput would create $11.49 billion in increased U.S. production, generate 16,991 new permanent jobs and account for $849.5 million in increased income for American workers.

“It’s extremely important that our Nation’s ports and waterways can meet current and future transportation needs,” Sen. Vitter said. “The water resources bill that we passed through the Senate earlier this year will give us the opportunity to increase funding to dredge and improve our waterways and infrastructure – a huge benefit for Louisiana. But more needs to be done, and this report will be a big step forward.”

The Lower Mississippi River channel was originally authorized to be deepened to 55 feet in the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 1986; however, the channel was never deepened below 45 feet due to the onerous requirement by the federal government that annual maintenance beyond 45 feet is the responsibility of the local sponsor, or the State of Louisiana in this case. Recent language passed by the Senate in the latest WRDA bill would shift maintenance costs up to 50-foot drafts to the federal level. Industry leaders and the Big River Coalition agreed upon a reduced draft from 55 feet to 50 feet to match the controlling draft of the new locks on the Panama Canal, expected to be completed in 2015.

The plan to deepen the Lower Mississippi River would be accomplished in two phases. Phase one would deepen Southwest Pass to Venice, La., or Mile 10 above Head of Passes – a 30-mile stretch of River. The first phase would automatically open 175 miles of River to a 50-foot channel, due to the River’s naturally deep channel. Estimates are Phase I’s construction costs would be $195 million with annual maintenance costs of $60 million. Phase II would begin at Belmont Crossing and dredge several River crossings to Mile 232 at the Baton Rouge Harbor at a cost of $105 million, with annual maintenance costs of $30 million.

The economy of the United States is dependent upon the Mississippi River for both the inbound movement of raw materials critical to manufacturing, as well as the outbound movement of goods produced in the United States bound for global markets,” said Gary LaGrange, President and CEO of the Port of New Orleans. “For domestic growers, producers and manufacturers to remain competitive, our nation’s maritime highways must be of critical importance to the federal government.”

Sean Duffy, Executive Director of the Big River Coalition, contends the deepening project makes sound economic sense and also offers a chance to immediately build thousands of acres of wetlands to aid coastal restoration efforts.

“If the Mississippi River is not deepened to match the controlling draft of the new Panama Canal locks, U.S. exporters become less competitive in the world market and consumers pay more for goods and services,” Duffy said. “The cargo carried on the River has an estimated $135 billion annual impact on the nation’s economy. We are talking about a River that connects 31 states and two Canadian Provinces through the third largest river basin in the world. It is a true maritime superhighway. The time to bring the Mississippi River channel and its infrastructure into the future is now.”

The Big River Coalition consists of more than 110 maritime businesses, trade associations and port authorities in 10 states along the Mississippi River and its tributaries.

portno.com
 

Maritime Reporter May 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Finance

US Oil Contango Vanishing as Supply Glut Shifts Abroad

The U.S. oil market is on the brink of returning to a more bullish footing known as backwardation for the first time in six months, with the discount for prompt

Mexico Removes Bid Limit on Shallow Water Oil Tenders

Mexico's oil regulator voted on Friday to relax previously established rules on bidding terms and contracts that form the first step in an historic sector opening

Wärtsilä Acquires L-3 MSI

Wärtsilä completes acquisition of L-3 Marine Systems International    Wärtsilä Corporation announced that its acquisition of the Germany based L-3 Marine Systems

Environmental

Crowley’s 2nd LNG ConRo Ship Ahead of Schedule

Shipbuilder VT Halter Marine, Inc. announced construction has started early for the second liquefied natural gas (LNG)-powered ConRo ship, Taíno, for Crowley Holdings, Inc.

Overnight Cruise Ship Visits Suspended in White Bay

The New South Wales (NSW) Port Authority has suspended all overnight cruise ship visits to White Bay until the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has regulated

ISS, Brightwell Introduce Onboard Cashless Payment System

Inchcape Shipping Services (ISS), the world-leading marine, cargo and supply chain solutions provider, has teamed up with Brightwell Payments, Inc. to introduce

Dredging

U.S.: China Placed Artillery on Reclaimed Island

The United States said on Friday that China had placed mobile artillery weapons systems on a reclaimed island in the disputed South China Sea, a development that Republican Sen.

Savannah Harbor Expansion Project Update

Lt. Gen. Thomas Bostick, commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, visited the Port of Savannah on Thursday, for an update on the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project (SHEP).

Dredge Yard, Neptune Shipyards Introduce New Dredger

Dredge Yard announced it has partnered with Netherlands-based Neptune Shipyards to develop the new cutter suction dredger, EURO DREDGER 450. Iulia Berchiu, Dredge Yard’s Marketing Manager,

News

Wage Row Between Argentine Crushers, Companies Reaches Crunch Point

Pressure grew on Friday for a resolution to wage talks between exporters and striking crushers in Argentina's Rosario grains hub, with another powerful union threatening

Kongsberg Contracted to Support FLNG Conversion

Kongsberg Maritime secures position in the LNG market with electrical and automation contract for Golar Hilli FLNG   Keppel Shipyard in Singapore and Black & Veatch in the U.

Statoil Awarded Licenses Offshore Nicaragua

Statoil informs it was today awarded four licenses offshore the Nicaraguan Pacific, covering an area of about 16,000 km2 in the largely unexplored Sandino Basin.

People in the News

Mass. Maritime Taps McDonald as New President

EVP Fran McDonald tops a field of five; choice still must be approved by Massachusetts Board of Higher Education.   Pending a confirmation vote by the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education (BHE),

Frontline Beats Q1 Forecasts, Inks Ship Finance Deal

Crude oil tanker firm Frontline posted first-quarter operating profit above expectations on Friday and said it had renegotiated its relationship with chartering

Thailand: 300 "boat people" Landed in Recent Weeks

Around 300 "boat people" have landed on Thailand's shores in recent weeks, Sek Wannamethee, director-general of the information department at Thailand's Foreign Ministry, said on Friday.

Government Update

Mexico Removes Bid Limit on Shallow Water Oil Tenders

Mexico's oil regulator voted on Friday to relax previously established rules on bidding terms and contracts that form the first step in an historic sector opening

Chile Customs Strike Ends After 8 Days

A customs strike in Chile that had held up exports and imports for over a week has ended after the union said on Friday it had come to an agreement with the government.

Mass. Maritime Taps McDonald as New President

EVP Fran McDonald tops a field of five; choice still must be approved by Massachusetts Board of Higher Education.   Pending a confirmation vote by the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education (BHE),

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Standards Navigation Offshore Oil Pod Propulsion Ship Electronics Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.2238 sec (4 req/sec)