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Issue #591

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2014 Media Kit

President Signs Omnibus Appropriations Bill Which Includes Funding For Oakland Harbor Deepening Proj

By: | at 07:00 PM | Breakbulk & Projects  

The White House and Congress approve nearly $50 million for -50 Foot Harbor Deepening Project and harbor maintenance.

Following significant congressional support, the President signed an omnibus appropriations bill this week that included approximately $41.3 million for the Port of Oakland’s Harbor Deepening Project (-50 Foot Project). The bill also provides a little over $8.2 million for annual dredging operations and maintenance. The total funding, nearly $50 million ($49.5 million), goes to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which is the federal agency responsible for the construction of the Port of Oakland’s Harbor Deepening Project.

Oakland, CA (December 27, 2005) - Following significant congressional support, the President signed an omnibus appropriations bill this week that included approximately $41.3 million for the Port of Oakland’s Harbor Deepening Project (-50 Foot Project). The bill also provides a little over $8.2 million for annual dredging operations and maintenance. The total funding, nearly $50 million ($49.5 million), goes to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which is the federal agency responsible for the construction of the Port of Oakland’s Harbor Deepening Project.

Port of Oakland Executive Director Omar Benjamin said, ‘We are very grateful to Congresswoman Barbara Lee and Senator Diane Feinstein as well as the entire Bay Area Delegation for their leadership in advocating for these critical funds. These funds will help ensure the deepening of the Oakland harbor to minus 50 feet which means that we will be able to accommodate the newer, larger container ships that now transit the globe.’ Benjamin added, ‘This funding is vital to our ability to deliver important benefits to our citizens including continuing the Port of Oakland’s role as an economic engine for our region, the state and the nation.’

The -50 Foot Project supports deep draft navigation improvements at the Port of Oakland. Project components have included the widening and deepening of the Harbor Entrance, Outer and Inner Harbor channels, and two turning basins to -50 feet Mean Lower Low Water (MLLW) as well as local business and utility relocations. Existing project depths are -46 feet MLLW (after dredging to interim depths). Related local service facilities, paid entirely by the Port, include berth deepening and wharf strengthening.

Port of Oakland Maritime Director James Kwon stated, ‘With the Port of Oakland’s already completed maritime infrastructure improvements combined with the Oakland Harbor Deepening Project and plans for new rail access at the Port, we will be able to grow our cargo business.’

The cost benefit ratio for the -50 Foot Project is an extraordinary 11:1 . In addition to the economic benefits, there are significant environmental benefits including wetland and habitat restoration. The project was authorized under the 1999 Federal Water Resources Development Act, with the federal government and the Port sharing approximately half the cost.

President of the Oakland Board of Port Commissioners Anthony Batarse commented, ‘We thank our congressional leaders for their successful efforts to get this funding approved. We also applaud our labor, environmental, agricultural, community and business partners for their help in securing funding to deepen the Oakland Harbor.’ The harbor deepening project is critical for Port of Oakland business partners located here in California, across the United States and overseas because they depend on the Port of Oakland for their import and export needs.