U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby on Wednesday applauded the statement that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile District, and the Alabama State Port Authority have formally participated in a Job Partnership Arrangement to deepen and expand the Mobile Harbor Ship Channel by late 2024 or early 2025.
The arrangement was signed today by Colonel Sebastien P. Joly, Commander of the Mobile District, and John C. Driscoll, Director and President of the Alabama State Port Authority.
“Today’s finalizing of the Mobile Harbor Job arrangement is yet another turning point in the procedure of the deepening and expanding the Port of Mobile,” stated Senator Shelby. “The conclusion of this historic job will transform Alabama, broadening financial opportunities throughout our state and the area. Further, the modernization of Alabama’s main port will increase the United States’ competitiveness in the international market. I am very grateful for the support of the Army Corps of Engineers and the work of the Alabama State Port Authority to ensure that this job, which I have invested years championing, crosses the finish line with ease.”
The Mobile District of the Corps anticipates the initial construction phase of the Mobile Harbor job will be granted in the fall of 2020. The completed task will include deepening the existing Bar, Bay, and River Channels to a depth of 50 feet, including small bend easing at the double bends in the Bar Channel, expanding the Bay Channel from 400 feet to 500 feet from the mouth of Mobile Bay northward for 3 nautical miles to offer a two-way traffic location for passing, and broadening the Choctaw Pass Turning Basin by 250 feet to the south at a depth of 50 feet. The widening and deepening of the channel will enable the Port of Mobile to accommodate the new bigger container ships that are being developed following the widening and deepening of the Panama Canal.
The Mobile Harbor project is anticipated to be performed in 6 building stages, with a targeted task conclusion by late 2024 or early 2025, and a total approximated cost of $365 million.
The Mobile Harbor Modernization project also received the State of Alabama’s financing dedication in March 2019 when Alabama Legislature passed and Gov. Kay Ivey signed into law the Rebuild Alabama Act that designated fuel tax dollars to support roughly $150 million in bonds to pay the state’s portion of the task. Drivers will see the price they pay for fuel boost by 10 cents. The very first phase increase went into impact last October, with the remainder in the next 2 years.
“Beyond the effect on the local and state levels, the Port of Mobile acts as a driver to our nation’s competitive position in the global economy. I have been happy to support The Mobile Harbor Modernization task, and I look forward to viewing the growing benefits our Port will have in the years to come,” Gov. Ivey said. “The Port of Mobile is now poised to become a major hub for export activity, and this is yet another giant advance in supporting our markets in the Americas and beyond. Alabama can be happy with the powerful financial tool that is our own Port of Mobile.”
The Mobile Harbor deepening and expanding task got its Record of Decision in September 2019, following a comprehensive four-year, environmental effect and financial expediency research study.
Simply this previous year, the Port Authority completed its $50 million, Phase 3 growth that added 20 acres of container handling yard and extended the dock to enable synchronised berth of 2 Post-Panamax sized ships. The project matches prior investments totaling $450 million in marine and rail container intermodal facilities.
“The Mobile Harbor task leverages shore-side port investments that provide shippers cost competitive transportation options in an ever-changing and progressively competitive international economy,” said John Driscoll. “I’m deeply appreciative of the foundation my predecessor, Jimmy Lyons, and the Authority’s group, delivered to understand this essential task.”
In February, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers designated $274,300,000 for the Port of Mobile in its Fiscal Year 2020 Work Strategy.
The Port of Mobile is among the nation’s fastest growing container seaports and has a financial impact of $25.4 billion. Advocates claim that the harbor channel construction task will enable more products to be delivered and sold through the Port of Mobile.
75 percent of the job will be spent for with federal funds and 25 percent from state-sponsored funds. Through federal legislation, Senator Shelby increased the federal government’s share of funding for deep draft ports from 50 percent to 75 percent.Source: alreporter.com