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Ocean cargo/global logistics: Many key U.S. seaports to have deeper harbors

source:WASHINGTON author:time:2009-05-12
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WASHINGTON--The member companies of the Dredging Contractors of America are applauding the latest federal stimulus package, as it will provide funding for badly-needed dredging operations.

“Many of the stimulus projects are intended to restore poorly maintained projects to full project dimensions,” said Dan McDougal, president of Dredging Contractors of America (DCA). “As a result, new efficient water transportation alternatives will be available to shippers and key waterfront investments will be more likely to follow.”

The inclusion of $440 million for projects in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers stimulus list will provide other benefits, added McDougal. Especially in the Gulf of Mexico.

“They will provide a shot in the arm to the maritime and boating industries, as well as supply hundreds of family wage jobs for employees of the nation’s dredging and marine construction companies,” he said.

Still, he admitted, adding the stimulus projects to the normal workload and the continued Gulf Recovery effort will present a challenge to the Corps and its partners in the dredging industry.

“When we have faced similar challenges in the past, our working partnership with the Corps has proven invaluable,” said Barry Holliday, DCA’s executive director. “If the procuring districts coordinate their projects well, we are convinced that all of this work can be underway and completed over the recovery period targeted by Congress and the Administration.”

The Obama Administration has also been praised by U.S. west coast port authorities.

Late last year,the President signed an omnibus appropriations bill that included approximately $41.3 million for the Port of Oakland’s Harbor Deepening Project (-50 Foot Project). The bill also provides a little over $8.2 million for annual dredging operations and maintenance.

“With the Port of Oakland’s already completed maritime infrastructure improvements combined with the Oakland Harbor Deepening Project and plans for new rail access at the Port, we will be able to grow our cargo business,” said the port’s Maritime Director, James Kwon.

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