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 Today


The Maritime Industry's original and most viewed E-News Service

Maritime Reporter May 2016 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Finance

China Shipbuilding Plans Major Restructuring

State-owned China Shipbuilding Industry Corp (CSIC) is undertaking a major restructuring as it grapples with an industry downturn, and it will be the largest restructuring

DSME Reveals Additional Self-Restructuring Plan

South Korean shipbuilder Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) has  revealed an additional self-restructuring plan amid the falling shipbuilding orders.

Sovcomflot IPO Soon

The long-awaited initial public offering (IPO) of Sovcomflot, which runs one of the world’s largest tanker and gas carrier fleets, has moved a step closer.    Economy

Environmental

Design Concept: Zero Emissions Cargo Ship

The designs for a multi access zero emissions cargo ship will be unveiled at the 5th Natural Propulsion Seminar in Wageningen, Netherlands, on Tuesday, May 24. The

First Cruise Company Fined under Australia’s New Fuel Rules

Australia’s NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has fined Carnival PLC $15,000 after one of its P&O Cruises ships, the Pacific Jewel, breached new low sulfur fuel regulations in Sydney Harbour.

HUMMEL LNG Hybrid Barge Begins Second Season

For over one year the HUMMEL has been contributing to improved air quality at the port of Hamburg. Becker Marine Systems’ LNG Hybrid Barge will also be supplying

News

China Shipbuilding Plans Major Restructuring

State-owned China Shipbuilding Industry Corp (CSIC) is undertaking a major restructuring as it grapples with an industry downturn, and it will be the largest restructuring

Sovcomflot IPO Soon

The long-awaited initial public offering (IPO) of Sovcomflot, which runs one of the world’s largest tanker and gas carrier fleets, has moved a step closer.    Economy

BEST Sets Container Handling Record

Hutchison Port Holdings Limited (HPH) subsidiary Barcelona Europe South Terminal (BEST) achieved a new record when it moved 7,760 TEU on the call of MSC Beatrice.

People in the News

French Oil and Port Workers Vote to Begin New Strikes

Oil sector workers of French CGT and FO unions voted on Monday to begin a strike at Exxon Mobil's 240,000 barrels-per-day Port Jerome refinery in northern France, the unions said in a joint statement.

Scandlines’ Hybrid Ferry in Operation

On Monday 23 May 2016, Scandlines’ new hybrid ferry, M/V Berlin, will for the first time carry passengers when it departs from Rostock towards Gedser at 06:00.   Scandlines

Aquabotix Debuts Mini Inspection Class ROV - The Endura

Aquabotix, a marine technology company delivering the accessibility of today’s electronics products to underwater ROVs, announces the immediate availability of the Endura.

Government Update

First Cruise Company Fined under Australia’s New Fuel Rules

Australia’s NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has fined Carnival PLC $15,000 after one of its P&O Cruises ships, the Pacific Jewel, breached new low sulfur fuel regulations in Sydney Harbour.

TT Club Welcomes IMO Guidance on SOLAS VGM Amendment

At an International Maritime Organization (IMO) Maritime Safety Committee session in London that culminated on Friday, delegates agreed on guidance and advice to

South Africa arrests Chinese ships for illegal squid fishing

South Africa's navy has detained three Chinese ships with around 100 crew on board on suspicion of illegal squid fishing, officials said on Monday. The ships

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Navigation Pod Propulsion Port Authority Salvage Ship Repair Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction
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: 0.1260 sec (8 req/sec)