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Port of Morgan City to Receive $80 million from Congress for Dredge Projects

Posted on March 15, 2024

Early in Monday’s meeting of the Morgan City Harbor and Terminal District board, there was joking about how boring the meetings have become.

In a little more than five years, the Port of Morgan City has evolved from governing waterways clogged by silt from repeated floods, and with meager federal funding for dredging, to enjoying an open channel to the Gulf of Mexico with enough money in place to pay for four to 10 dredging projects.

Tim Connell, operations manager for the Army Corps of Engineers New Orleans District, told the port board Monday that about $80 million in funding has been approved in Congress for the fiscal year that ends Sept. 30.

The Corps of Engineers is in charge of dredging projects, using funds included in the president’s budget, the corps work plan and supplemental appropriations.
The funding request for fiscal 2025 is for $16.5 million, Connell told the board.

That contrasts with the roughly $4 million for the Port of Morgan City that appeared in the president’s fiscal 2019 budget.

Since then, funding has been on the upswing. In the last year, as many as six dredges at a time have been at work on the port’s channel, which is now at its authorized depth of 20 feet from the city to the Gulf.

Conventional dredging projects now on the books range in cost from $5.8 million to more than $20 million. That doesn’t include about $38 million for the Brice Civil Constructors dredge, which continues to remove sticky “fluff” mud from the lower end of the channel using an agitation process.

Also Monday, the board heard from the Coast Guard that vessel transits rose 2% to 1,897 last month. About 1,400 were by towing vessels, an increase of 7%.


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