â€œThis is a big victory for our state and the entire Northwest,â€ said Senator Murray. â€œAfter years and years of work, we are now on the verge of ensuring the Columbia River remains the economic engine of the Northwest. A deeper channel will enable us to accommodate the modern fleet of larger ships which will help save jobs and keep our stateâ€™s goods moving. Funding the completion of this efforts is exactly the kind of project the Economic Recovery Act was designed to support.â€
The funding announced today is expected to be enough to complete the project. The majority of the funding will got to blasting to remove basalt rock near St. Helens, OR, at river mile 88.
Many of todayâ€™s trade vessels are larger ships that are constrained by the current authorized depth of 40-feet in the Columbia River navigation channel. In order to better accommodate those vessels, the navigation channel needs to be deepened from 40 to 43-feet. This will enable ships to access and serve the regions ports, businesses, farmers, and other critical markets.