Pa. funds Delaware River deepening
Gov. Tom Corbett said Pennsylvania will release $15 million to continue a project to deepen the Delaware River to 45 feet.
The funding will allow about a five-mile section of the Delaware River shipping channel off the coast of Delaware to be deepened from 40 feet. As with work done thus far on the project, a private dredging company will be chosen through a public bid process to perform the deepening under guidance and supervision of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
The $305 million Delaware River main channel deepening project is a federal project, with 65 percent to be funded by the federal government and 35 percent by a local match from Pennsylvania through its independent state agency, the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority.
|Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett speaking at Philadelphia’s Packer Avenue Marine Terminal Wednesday, announced state funding for deepening the Delaware River Main Channel.|
Federal funding for the project has not been forthcoming, so the state has been advancing funds for the project — $30 million last year and now $15 million.
Ed Voigt, a spokesman for the Philadelphia office of the Corps of Engineers, said the latest section would go out for bid as soon as October, with construction beginning by the end of the year. An 11-mile stretch of the river was deepened this year. The entire 103-mile channel is expected to take about five years to deepen.
“With ports up and down the East Coast deepening their navigation channels, Pennsylvania’s international seaport in Philadelphia must keep pace to remain competitive in the growing international market,” Corbett said.
He said one estimate predicted deepening the river channel would create 8,000 to 12,000 direct jobs, and indirectly contribute another 38,000.