LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Congressman Clay Higgins visited The Port of Lake Charles today to announce an additional $10 million of federal funding will now go to dredging the Ship Channel, bringing the total amount of funding to $32 million.
A project that's estimated to take between $35 to $40 million.
Originally, the federal government planned to allocate $22 million to the port, but Higgins and the rest of the Louisiana delegation pushed for more.
Higgins says the government has failed to uphold its promise to maintain the parameters of the channel, 400 feet wide and 40 feet deep
"Just not right if the Federal Government promises to maintain an access channel like the Calcasieu Channel 68 mile channel to feed a port decades ago the promise was made to maintain it than it should be maintained," said Higgins.
Higgins says this port, being the 11th busiest seaport in the country, is one of the most significant economic factors in the state, and keeping the channel open for business will make an impact on the state's economy.
There are also other factors Higgins took into consideration like inclement weather.
"This is a fast access port of safety for ships in the gulf and if you have an area of the access channel where there's a big slow boat there you cant get around it it's a matter of public safety," said Higgins.
The congressman also says the port is a matter of national security, with access to strategic petroleum reserves. He will continue to push for $40 million every year.