A dredge at Head of Passes

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will spend $45.7 million in the next fiscal year to complete a key project aimed at deepening the Mississippi River channel to 50 feet from Baton Rouge to the river’s mouth.

These monies will be added to the already approved $85 Million in the 2020 Corps of Engineers budget.

Louisiana is on tap to pay more than $100 million of the total $238 million project cost; the state’s share includes $39 million of the dredging costs and $80 million for pipeline and utility adjustments. However, at least half of that latter figure will be paid by the owners, rather than the state, thanks to provisions included in permits allowing them to use the riverbed.

The 50 foot depth is to permit the PANAMAX vessels which can now transit the Panama Canal. The one requirement is that the superstructures will have to pass under the Crescent City Connection Bridge.

In a 2018 report recommending the deepening, the Corps determined the project would result in an average boost to the national economy of $127.5 million a year, compared to the annual cost of $17.7 million for maintaining the deeper channel. 


Mississippi River to be dredged to 50 Feet