WASHINGTON, D.C. (WAFB) - House Republican Whip Steve Scalise announced Monday, Feb. 10 that the US Army Corps of Engineers 2020 Work Plan includes funding for infrastructure projects in Louisiana, including $85 million to deepen the Mississippi River to 50 feet.
“After years of hard work, I’m very glad that the Corps included over $160 million for critical infrastructure projects in Louisiana, including $85 million to deepen the lower Mississippi River to 50 feet. As home to the mouth of the Mississippi River, this is excellent news for southeast Louisiana and our ability to move more commerce through the Port of New Orleans,” Scalise said.
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“This critical project also provides a dual benefit of rebuilding Louisiana’s vanishing coastline. Deepening the river will give the state the ability to take that sediment and use it to rebuild our coast, increasing lifesaving flood protection. I applaud the Corps for advancing this project and for their commitment to maintaining our waterways which are not only vital to Louisiana’s economy, but also to our national economy,” Scalise said.
Back in April of 2019, Scalise testified before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water in support of projects in Louisiana that will help provide flood protection and boost the national economy. At that time, Scalise specifically discussed deepening the Mississippi River to 50 feet.
- $85.35 million to initiate construction of channel deepening for the Mississippi River to 50 feet
- $18 million to construct disposal capacity containment dikes for the Calcasieu River and Pass
- $500,000 to complete the Iberia Parish El Wastewater Improvements Master Plan
- $40.58 million for the J Bennett Johnston Waterway
- $2 million for Livingston Parish environmental infrastructure projects
- $25 million for SELA Algiers Sub-Basin project
Operation and Maintenance Funding:
- $5 million for Houma Navigation Canal dredging and maintenance needs
- $850,000 for Bayou Lafourche for dredging and maintenance needs
- $1.35 million for Mississippi River, outlets at Venice for dredging, and maintenance needs
“Louisiana, where the American tugboat, towboat, and barge industry supports over 50,000 jobs and generates over $2.5 billion in GDP annually, is an epicenter of American maritime commerce,” said Jennifer Carpenter, president and CEO of the American Waterways Operators (AWO). “This industry’s ability to provide for the people of Louisiana and the nation requires that vital waterways like the Mississippi River be maintained at the level necessary to support the uninterrupted flow of commercial traffic. AWO applauds Whip Scalise for ensuring that Mississippi River is able to facilitate the high volume of maritime commerce coming into and out of Louisiana to support our national economy.”
“This is fantastic news for the Port of New Orleans and the entire Lower Mississippi River,”said Brandy Christian, port president and CEO. “We applaud the efforts of our congressional delegation, as well as the Big River Coalition and Louisiana’s maritime stakeholders to secure the necessary funding for the future of international commerce in Louisiana. A deeper Mississippi River channel will benefit ocean carriers, shippers, growers, and manufacturers alike and is essential to the port’s competitiveness in the global economy.”