Calcasieu

Oct 23, 2013 11:27 AM by AP (MGN ONLINE)

LC Port Board OKs use of $5M for dredging work

LAKE CHARLES, La. (AP) - Lake Charles Port Board members have voted to allow Port Director Bill Rase to enter into a contract for up to $5 million in dredging work at Bulk Terminal No. 1 and the City Docks.

The American Press reports Rase told the board during a special meeting Tuesday that the Army Corps of Engineers has agreed to release a dredging machine already being used in the Calcasieu Ship Channel. He said the dredging work should be done "over the next couple of weeks."

"It's somewhat cheaper to take that dredge and use it than to have someone charge a full (mobilization) and (demobilization) for another dredge to come into the channel," Rase said.

Several docks were recently identified as needing maintenance dredging to get them to the proper depth, according to Rase. BT-1, one of the port's busiest docks, should be dredged at 40 feet, he said.

"It's important because of the vessels that (use) the City Docks and the BT-1 area that they have the proper depth so they can load the amount of cargo they are scheduled to pick up," Rase said. "We're going to go ahead and do all of our docks, not just the ones that are bad."

Rase said the port has about $2 million in its dredging fund. He said the $5 million limit will ensure all of the docks are dredged to the required depth.

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