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American Shipper

Report: Delaware dredge plan advancing

Report: Delaware dredge plan advancing

   A cooperation agreement between the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority over plans to deepen a shipping channel in the Delaware River to 45 feet could be in place in several weeks, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

   Last May, Pennsylvania and New Jersey reached a compromise that was expected to let the plan to dredge the river from 40 feet to move forward. A deeper channel is part of a plan by Philadelphia Regional Port Authority to expand its container facilities south of the current Packer Marine Terminal. The so-called Southport project would extend into an area that once was part of the Philadelphia Navy Yard.

   The paper said dredging could begin next fall, but it also notes that so far Congress has only approved $66.4 million of the total $180 million federal share of the project, which would take five years to complete. Total cost is estimated to be $277 million.

   The paper also quotes a member of the Delaware Riverkeeper Network as saying it plans to challenge the deepening project for environmental reasons.

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