Agreement signed for Port of Mobile to deepen and widen

Mobile County

MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — The State of Alabama and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have signed an agreement that will deepen and widen the Port of Mobile in late 2024 or early 2025.

Colonel Sebastien P. Joly, Commander of the Mobile District, and John C. Driscoll, Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Alabama State Port Authority, signed the Project Partnership Agreement, the agreement allows the Corps of Engineers to move into contracting and construction phases, which will take the Port of Mobile’s federal channel to a depth of 50 feet. Construction is set to begin by the end of this year. The project is estimated to cost $365.7 million.

The Mobile Harbor modernization program received full federal funding in February this year.

Full release from the Alabama State Port Authority:

MOBILE, Ala. – June 17, 2020.  Alabama’s seaport modernization program reached another critical milestone today when the State of Alabama and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers entered into the Project Partnership Agreement that will deepen and widen the Port of Mobile in late 2024 or early 2025.  Colonel Sebastien P. Joly, Commander of the Mobile District, and John C. Driscoll, Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Alabama State Port Authority, signed the agreement, which allows the Corps of Engineers to move into contracting and construction phases to take the Port of Mobile’s federal channel to a depth of 50 feet.  Construction is expected to begin on the approximately $365.7 million project by the end of this year.

Mobile Harbor modernization program received full federal funding in February this year upon passage of the Energy & Water Development and Related Agencies Act.  Under the Act, approximately $377.6 million is available to qualifying projects in Alabama and two other U.S. Gulf states.  Key features of the program will explore innovative ways of executing dredging in a logical, sequenced manner, unconstrained by more traditional project-specific, account-specific, or single-year work plans.

U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) lauded today’s crucial and final step that allows the Corps to move forward on construction.  “Today’s signing of the Mobile Harbor Project agreement is yet another milestone in the process of the deepening and widening the Port of Mobile. The completion of this historic project will transform Alabama, expanding economic opportunities throughout our state and the region.  Further, the modernization of Alabama’s primary port will increase the United States’ competitiveness in the global market.  I am extremely grateful for the support of the Army Corps of Engineers and the work of the Alabama State Port Authority to ensure that this project, which I have spent years championing, crosses the finish line with ease,” said Shelby.

The Mobile Harbor Modernization project also received the State of Alabama’s funding commitment in March 2019 when Alabama Legislature passed and Gov. Kay Ivey (R-AL) signed into law the Rebuild Alabama Act that allocates a portion of state fuel tax proceeds to support approximately $150 million in bonds to meet the federal cost-share requirements for the harbor project.  “Beyond the impact on the local and state levels, the Port of Mobile serves as a catalyst to our nation’s competitive position in the global economy. I have been proud to support The Mobile Harbor Modernization project, and I look forward to watching the growing benefits our Port will have in the years to come,” Gov. Ivey said. “The Port of Mobile is now poised to become a major hub for export activity, and this is yet another giant step forward in supporting our industries in the Americas and beyond. Alabama can be proud of the powerful economic tool that is our own Port of Mobile.”

The Mobile Harbor deepening and widening project received its Record of Decision in September 2019, following an extensive four-year, environmental impact and economic feasibility study.  With both federal funding and the state’s match secured, the project can now leverage ongoing terminal investments in Alabama’s only seaport to ensure economies of scale and competitive rates for the seaport’s mining, manufacturing, agribusiness and retail/distribution shippers.  Just this past year, the Port Authority completed its $50 million, Phase 3 expansion that added 20 acres of container handling yard and extended the dock to allow simultaneous berth of two Post-Panamax sized ships. The project complements prior investments totaling $450 million in marine and rail container intermodal facilities.  “The Mobile Harbor project leverages shore-side port investments that provide shippers cost competitive transportation solutions in an ever changing and increasingly competitive global economy,” said John Driscoll.  “I’m deeply appreciative of the groundwork my predecessor, Jimmy Lyons, and the Authority’s team, delivered to realize this important project.”

The Alabama State Port Authority represents the State of Alabama’s public, deep-water terminals serving general cargo, container, over-dimensional and bulk cargoes.  In CY2019, the public seaport terminals generated over 150,000 jobs and $25.4 billion in economic value to the state.  The public terminals have immediate access to two interstate systems, five (5) Class 1 railroads, and nearly 15,000 miles of inland waterway connections. Learn more at www.asdd.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AlabamaStatePortAuth 

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