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Corps of Engineers Releases Draft Study on Mobile Shipping Channel Expansion

Corps of Engineers Releases Draft Study on Mobile Shipping Channel Expansion

In Late July, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released its four-year $7.8 million feasibility study on expanding the Mobile Shipping Channel, formally known as the General Reevaluation Report & Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (GRR/SEIS).

The study examined the costs, benefits and environmental and economic consequences of enlarging the channel. It also evaluated a range of alternative plans that would improve the safety and efficiency of the existing navigation system. Navigation concerns include three main types of problems: larger size vessels experience transit delays due to existing width of the channel; existing channel depths limit vessel cargo capacity; and, existing traffic congestion has increased safety concerns.

The Tentatively Selected Plan estimated the cost of the project at $387.8 million and would include the following navigation improvements:

  • Deepening the channel by 5 feet to a depth of 50 feet
  • Widening the channel for 3 nautical miles to allow two-way traffic
  • Expanding the Choctaw Pass turning basin to accommodate safe turning of larger vessels
  • Bend easing in the Bar Channel

The Corps of Engineers has opened the 45-day comment period on the GRR/SEIS ending on September 10, 2018 and will host a town hall meeting set for September 6th from 5:30-8:00 pm at the Arthur R. Outlaw Convention Center.

To read the full GRR/SEIS Report, click here.

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