Posted on June 26, 2023
The Army Corps of Engineers Little Rock and Tulsa Districts are seeking public input on the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigational System (MKARNS) 12-foot channel deepening project.
Public comment for the draft Supplemental Environmental Assessment will be held until July 8.
USACE held four public workshops in early June to provide information about the deepening project.
The 12-foot channel deepening project will increase the navigation channel to a minimum navigable depth of 12-feet throughout the MKARNS, the Corps said. Deepening the channel will allow the existing inland commercial fleet to sail at deeper drafts that are consistent with those on the Lower Mississippi River. This will allow the commercial fleet to load more cargo onto their barges which will lower transportation costs, benefiting producers and consumers throughout the region and nation.
Roughly $5 billion of goods are moved on the MKARNS annually. By shipping more cargo on the MKARNS versus road or rail, this can aid in the reduction of landside congestion on roads and railways and help to improve air quality since emissions from barges on a ton per mile basis are far less than trucks or rail.
The project will require placing rock structures to scour the channel, dredging the channel and utilizing in-water and upland dredge disposal sites throughout the project area. Additionally, some lock modifications will be needed to accommodate the increase in vessel size that the deepened channel would allow.
Comments must be submitted in writing by July 8 and can be mailed to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, ATTN: RPEC-12 ft. Channel, 2000 Fort Point Rd, Galveston, TX 77550 or emailed to CESWL-NAV-MKARNS12FOOTCHANNEL@usace.army.mil.
For an on-line fillable comment card and to learn more about the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System 12-foot channel deepening project, visit https://www.swl.usace.army.mil/Missions/Planning/MKARNS-12-foot-Channel/.