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Deeper ship channel stalled at Gulfport’s state port

GULFPORT — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says a deeper ship channel has been scrapped as part of a study on future expansion at the state port.

The Corps undertook an expansion study in 2011 that was modified in 2013 to include deepening the ship channel from 36 feet to 42-47 feet. Channel deepening is seen as a key to port growth. Without a deeper channel, the port will be unable to compete for cargo being hauled on larger ships that require drafts deeper than Gulfport can offer.

Pat Robbins, legislative and public affairs chief for the Corps in Mobile, Alabama, tells The Sun Herald channel deepening was removed from the study because state port officials learned the state would have to pay the entire cost for the deeper channel.

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