USA: Louisiana to Receive USD 22.1 Million for Waterways
U.S. Senator Mary L. Landrieu announced that the Army Corps of Engineers will provide $22.1 million in additional funding for major waterways in Louisiana. The decision comes after Sen. Landrieu and the Louisiana congressional delegation urged the Corps to provide the necessary investments in underfunded waterway projects in Louisiana.
This announcement by the Corps provides $22.1 million for improvements in Louisiana, as well as an additional $13.2 million in funding to be shared by states along the Mississippi River, including Louisiana, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee. The additional funding comes from money that was appropriated above the President’s budget request in last year’s omnibus appropriations bill and left at the Corps’ discretion.
“At a time when our economy continues its hard road to recovery, these major waterways are critical to the flow of commerce and our continued competitiveness as a state and nation. Unfortunately, due to significant budget constraints, essential construction and maintenance has been repeatedly delayed – resulting in heavy silting, draft restrictions and economic uncertainty. This additional funding, which the Louisiana delegation has fought hard to secure, will mean these projects can go forward and represents important progress. But much remains to be done, and we will continue pushing for additional resources moving forward,” said Sen. Landrieu, Chair of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security.
The following projects will receive additional funding as part of the Corps of Engineers’ revised spending plan:
• $6.93 million for dredging projects along the Calcasieu River. This funding is in addition to the $15.17 million the project was already slated to receive in the original appropriation. The Calcasieu Ship Channel supports the third-largest export port and the fourth-largest refinery in the nation, handling 58 million tons annually and contributing $788 million a year to the Treasury in income tax, customs, and Harbor Maintenance Tax collections.
“The Port and channel users greatly appreciate the support of the entire Louisiana congressional delegation in securing additional funding for much-needed dredging on the Calcasieu Ship Channel. We thank the leadership of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for recognizing the necessity to allocate scarce discretionary maintenance funds to address the continuing dredging requirements of the 11th largest port in the country,” said William J. Rase III, Executive Director of the Lake Charles Harbor and Terminal District.
• $9.18 million for construction, operation and maintenance activities along the Atchafalaya River. This includes $7.89 million for the river’s floodway system, which was severely strained due to historic flooding last year. This funding is in addition to the $18.2 million the projects were originally appropriated. The Atchafalaya River supports numerous shipbuilding, oil and gas fabrication, and agricultural companies, as well as a coastal port that ships 2.1 million tons of goods domestically. St. Mary’s Parish, located at the mouth of the river, contributes more than $2 billion a year to the economy.
• $1.92 million for operation and maintenance of the Mississippi Delta Region of Louisiana. This is in addition to the $430,000 in the original appropriation.
• $1 million for construction activities along the J. Bennett Johnston (JBJ) Waterway. Funding for this project was not included in the original plan.
• $959,000 for maintenance dredging on the Tensas Basin, Red River Backwater. This is in addition to the $2.42 million in the original appropriation.
• $400,000 for the Southwest Coastal Louisiana Feasibility Study. Senator Landrieu and Congressman Boustany sent a letter in November highlighting the importance of continued funding for this study.
• $400,000 for the Calcasieu Lock Feasibility Study. This funding is addition to the $957,000 the project was already slated to receive in the original appropriation.
• $594,990 for operation and maintenance of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway in Louisiana. This is in addition to the $29.97 million originally appropriated.
• $584,000 for inspection of completed works in Louisiana. This is in addition to the $684,000 originally appropriated.
• $134,000 for operation and maintenance of the Old River. This is in addition to the $6.82 million originally appropriated.
• $41,000 for operation and maintenance of Bonnet Carre. This is in addition to the $2.10 million originally appropriated.
• $7,000 for operation and maintenance of the Lower Red River, South Bank Levees. This is in addition to the $370,000 originally appropriated.
• $1,000 for maintenance dredging on Bayou Cocodrie and Tributaries. This is in addition to the $370,000 originally appropriated.
Finally, Louisiana will share in an additional $13.2 million in funding for projects along the Mississippi River. Those projects include:
• $8.2 million for channel improvement construction, operations and maintenance, to be allocated between the following states: Louisiana, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee. This is in addition to the $104.69 million originally appropriated.
• $5 million for construction, operations and maintenance of Mississippi River levees in Louisiana, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee. This is in addition to the $31.51 million originally appropriated.
• $36,000 for maintenance dredging on the Tensas Basin, Boeuf and Tensas Rivers, in Louisiana and Arkansas. This is in addition to the $1.84 million originally appropriated.
Dredging Today Staff, February 10, 2012; Image: usace