LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - The Calcasieu River Ship Channel is getting millions of dollars for upkeep.
$103 million to be exact. According to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, their annual budget for the channel has been around $30 million annually for the last three years. The over hundred million extra dollars will be added to the existing budget. This is due to the bipartisan Budget Act signed into law last December, according to the Corps.
Breaking down the extra funding, around $26 million will go towards dredging the channel, while approximately $10 million will be used to maintain disposal sites. The remaining funds will be used on a variety of rock projects, including the construction of protection levees on the Calcasieu Lake and repairing existing levees along the Channel. The Corps of Engineers will also be repairing rock jetties where the Calcasieu River meets the Gulf of Mexico.
With around 56 million tons of cargo transported each year along the Calcasieu River Shipping Channel, Port of Lake Charles Executive Director Bill Rase says the channel is a driving force behind Southwest Louisiana's economy. The Port currently serves only 50 companies. With the traffic, Rase says constant maintenance is necessary.
"You know, the channel, I really do think it's the lifeblood of the community."
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