-50 Foot Dredging Project
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency expects the volume of imported cargo flowing through the nation’s ports to triple by 2020. The Port of Oakland, as the fourth busiest container port in the country, plays a crucial role as a major international gateway to our nation’s complex trade and transportation infrastructure systems. Thus, dredging at the Port is vitally needed to enhance the nation’s overall shipping capacity.
However, the Oakland seaport’s existing harbor channels, with a draft of –46 feet, can no longer adequately accommodate the latest generation of container vessels. These larger ships, with their expanded capacity, help create economies of scale, which translates into greater shipping efficiency and reduced costs for businesses. The Port of Oakland must therefore, finish deepening its harbors to –50 feet in a timely manner or risk container traffic diversion to Canada and Mexico, thus raising costs to shippers.
Congruently, the benefits of the –50 Foot Project reach far beyond cost-savings and improved efficiency for businesses nationwide. As the channels are deepened, nearly 100% of the resulting dredge material is being used for wetland restoration, habitat enhancement, and upland use within the San Francisco Bay. Hence, this project is not only improving national shipping capacity but also helping to restore and protect the local environment.
The advantages of this project are readily apparent locally, regionally and nationally. In fact, the 11:1 benefit to cost ratio that the -50 Foot Project continues to enjoy has placed it amongst the highest in the nation for all ongoing projects. The President has listed the -50 Foot Project as a "Priority Project;” due to its tremendous success, the project’s previous ranking amongst the nine highest national projects for priority federal funding has been elevated to within the top six. The project has also been placed amongst the top two deep dredging navigation projects nationwide.
This year, the Corps reported that it has the capability to expend $60 million for the –50 Foot Project in FY 2008. We are pleased to report that as the project nears the final stages of completion, this year with Congressional appropriation of the full $60 million we anticipate reaching the -50 foot mark for both of our channels. Meanwhile, taking into consideration current federal budget constraints, the $42 million earmarked for allocation in the President's proposed FY ’08 budget, while less than requested, still represents a significant portion of the Corps funding capability for this year. However, we must reiterate that, with the full appropriation of the requested $60 million, the project will achieve -50 foot drafts in both channels and be substantially complete.
The -50 Foot Project benefits various industries and sectors of the economy in important ways:
East Bay Businesses
The -50 Foot project will generate:
Business Community at Large
If you have any questions about the –50 Foot Project, please contact Jesse D. Garrett at the Port of Oakland Government Affairs Department at firstname.lastname@example.org or (510) 627-1382. Thank you again for your support.
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