The Alabama State Port Authority has begun the deepening and widening of the Mobile Ship Channel, as part of the $365.7 million Mobile Harbor project with the US Army Corps of Engineers due to be completed by 2025.
It said the Bar, Bay and River channels will be deepened by 50ft, with additional depths for wave allowances and advanced maintenance. The project will also include the widening of the Bay Channel by 100ft for three nautical miles to accommodate two-way vessel traffic and other safety improvements.
John C. Driscoll, said the Port Authority is “extremely excited” to see the “crucial project” moving forward.
“This project along with the collaborative support of our federal and state partners, will provide our customers and our carriers the necessary infrastructure to ensure their market competitiveness.”
The US Army Corps of Engineers and the Alabama State Port Authority entered into the Project Partnership Agreement in June 2020 to allow for the contracting and construction phases to begin.
The Mobile Harbor modernization program received full federal funding in February 2020, and in March 2019 the State of Alabama allocated a portion of state fuel tax proceeds to support approximately $150 million in bonds to meet the federal cost-share requirements for the harbor project.
Senator Richard Shelby said, “I am pleased that we have finally begun construction to deepen and widen the Port of Mobile, something I am confident will drastically improve our state and local economy for generations to come.
“This is great news. The Mobile port modernization project has been one of my highest priorities for a number of years. I look forward to its completion and the resulting benefits.”
Sebastien P. Joly, Commander, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile District, praised the collaborative relationship the federal agency has built with the Alabama State Port Authority.
“The Mobile District, US Army Corps of Engineers, is excited to see the start of the physical construction of the deepening of the Mobile Channel.
“We have been fortunate to be part of a large federal and state team that will deliver additional capability for the City of Mobile, the State of Alabama, and the entire Southeast Region as we ensure that the Mobile Harbor is well postured to remain competitive and relevant in the global market.”