PORT OF OAKLAND ASKS AGRICULTURE SHIPPERS TO LOBBY FOR DREDGE FUNDS
The Port of Oakland has asked agriculture shippers to lobby members of the California congressional delegations in Washington to increase the port’s amount of dredge funds in the fiscal 2002 Energy and Water Development Appropriations legislation.
“With the strong support of many in the agricultural sector last year, the Oakland Harbor Navigation project received ‘new start’ funding of $4 million in the Energy and Water Development Appropriations legislation,” said Charles W. Foster, executive director for the Port of Oakland in a letter to members of the Agriculture Ocean Transportation Coalition. “This funding was critical to the Corps of Engineers’ ability to begin construction phase of our project.”
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers estimates that $50 million is needed in fiscal 2002 for Oakland’s channel deepening. The port must dredge its channels to 50-feet deep to accommodate new containerships with capacities of more than 6,500 TEUs and drafts of about 48 feet.
“The project will provide deepwater access to the new marine terminals presently under construction at the mouth of the port’s inner harbor, and to the Joint Intermodal Terminal, which upon completion will increase the operating efficiency of the railroads serving the port,” Foster said.
Oakland finished dredging its channels to 42 feet deep in 1998.