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
 


Finance

China COSCO Falls to H1 Net Loss

China COSCO Holdings Co Ltd fell to a first-half loss hurt by a persistent slump in the global container market, the world's fourth largest container shipper said on Thursday.

Weak Freight Rates push Grindrod to H1 loss

Africa's biggest shipping group Grindrod reported a first-half loss on Thursday, pressured by low global growth and declining dry bulk shipping rates but it expects

Cosco Eyes Spanish port of Algeciras

Algeciras Bay Port Authority in southern Spain has put up a tender for its third container terminal, and China's Cosco Shipping Ports is already being mentioned as a fore runner candidate,

Environmental

South Asia Meet on Oil, Chemical Spill Contingency Plan

A meeting to update South Asia’s regional plan for oil and chemical pollution preparedness and response is underway in Male, Maldives (22-25 August), informs  International

Lucas Marine, Harbor Breeze Cruises Partner to Cut Fuel Costs

Lucas Marine is partnering with Harbor Breeze Corporation to help reduce the yacht charter and cruise company's fuel costs, maintenance and environmental impact in Los Angeles and Long Beach Harbors.

Fednav Welcomes Innovative Ballast System at Indiana Port

Fednav Limited, the largest international bulk shipowner in Canada, welcomed to the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor, the Federal Caribou, one of seven new oceangoing

News

Former HMS Illustrious Sold for Scrap

The former aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious will be recycled after 32 years of service, announced the U.K. Ministry of Defense (MOD) who sold the ship to Turkish

Tuco’s New Arctic Workboat to Debut at SMM

Danish producer Tuco Marine said it will reveal a new Arctic workboat daughter craft at next month’s SMM in Hamburg.   Many arctic patrol vessels, icebrakers

El Faro Captain Ordered Crew to Abandon Ship before Sinking

The captain of the doomed El Faro cargo ship sounded an alarm for his crew to abandon the vessel shortly before it sank last fall in a hurricane near the Bahamas, killing all 33 onboard, the U.

People in the News

J.F. Lehman Acquires Heavy Equipment Group of Oldenburg Group

J.F. Lehman & Company (“JFLCO”) has signed a definitive agreement with Oldenburg Group Incorporated to acquire its Heavy Equipment Group, including both its defense and mining business units.

Wärtsilä Re-gasification system for Norwegian Ship Conversion

Wärtsilä has been contracted to supply the re-gasification system for an FSRU (Floating, Storage, Re-gasification Unit) conversion project that Höegh LNG plans to carry out on a modern LNG vessel.

New Crane Orders for Huisman

Huisman has secured new crane contracts with a total value of around 300 million Euro from various major offshore, shipping and wind farm installation contractors: •

Government Update

El Faro Captain Ordered Crew to Abandon Ship before Sinking

The captain of the doomed El Faro cargo ship sounded an alarm for his crew to abandon the vessel shortly before it sank last fall in a hurricane near the Bahamas, killing all 33 onboard, the U.

China COSCO Falls to H1 Net Loss

China COSCO Holdings Co Ltd fell to a first-half loss hurt by a persistent slump in the global container market, the world's fourth largest container shipper said on Thursday.

Restricted Area around Submarine Wreck in North Sea Reduced

The Danish Maritime Authority has changed the size of the area of prohibition that was established on 17 August in the North Sea off the coast at Esbjerg in connection

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Navigation Offshore Oil Salvage Ship Repair Ship Simulators 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: 0.1303 sec (8 req/sec)