USA: Senators Push for Delaware River Dredging

U.S. Senators Bob Casey, Pat Toomey  and Chris Coons have filed an amendment to an appropriations bill that would increase the potential of securing the Delaware River dredging project federal funding.

The amendment would move formerly appropriated funds in the Army Corps of Engineers budget to navigation projects directed towards improving our Nation’s rivers traffic effectiveness. Additional funds in the navigation account rises the probability for making federal funds available for the Delaware River dredging in 2012.

 “The Delaware River Deepening Project will create thousands of direct and indirect jobs in Philadelphia and increase the economic competitiveness of the region,” said Senator Casey. “I am committed to doing everything in my power to try to direct federal resources to this project.”

Deepening the Delaware River is critical to our regional economy’s future success. To help our companies compete and export, we need the port infrastructure to do so. I hear from employers all the time about how important this is, and I’m committed to making it happen,” Senator Toomey said.

Deepening the Delaware River is important to the economy of our entire region,” Senator Coons said. “I was glad to partner with my colleagues from Pennsylvania on this amendment because deepening the river is important to both of our states. It is our hope that this additional funding will allow the Administration to continue to invest in the Delaware River deepening project and help create jobs by allowing new trade opportunities for our local businesses.”

The Delaware River Channel will be deepened, according to this project, from forty to forty-five feet what will accommodate larger vessels. The anticipated activities will lower shipping costs, maritime transportation would become more efficient resulting in safer and more reliable channels. Once the activities are conducted, an estimated increase of 2.5 million tons of cargo to the Port of Philadelphia will be notable. Apart from this, the project will provide thousands of direct and indirect short-term jobs that will considerably support economic growth of the industry. The project investments will reduce the high unemployment rate that according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, for the Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), was 8.4% in September.

Once the expansion of the Panama Canal is complete, the traffic will increase along the east coast making the ports able to grow and compete.

Dredging Today Staff, November 22, 2011

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