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May16, 2016

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24 THE JOURNAL OF COMMERCE MAY 16.2016 TOP 25 NORTH AMERICAN PORTS SPECIAL REPORT ect to raise the air draft of the Bayonne Bridge, which currently is too low to allow the largest container ships to pass under it on their way to those terminals. The proj- ect, which is about 50 percent complete, is a year behind schedule. The Army Corps is deepening the Del- aware River from 40 to 45 feet along the 102.5 miles from the ports of Philadelphia and Camden, New Jersey, to deep water in the Delaware Bay. About 75 percent of the money for initial construction is coming from the federal government, and Penn- sylvania is sponsoring the rest through the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority. The project, scheduled for completion in 2017, needs about $32 million to finish the work, but the source of funding won't be known until next February or March because of the federal budgeting process. The Army Corps isn't dredging the river in any par- ticular sequence, but will leave until the end the deepening at the entrance of the river so that all ports have access to the deeper channel at the same time. After more than 15 years of study, the $706 million project to deepen the Savan- nah River from 42 to 47 feet along the 39 miles from its mouth up to the Port of Savannah began last September and is about 11 percent completed. The project is expected to be done by 2021 at the earliest, depending on the availability of funding. At nearby Port of Charleston, the Army Corps approved a final feasibility study and environmental impact report last year to deepen the harbor from 45 to 52 feet to accommodate the latest and largest con- tainer ships calling at U.S. East Coast ports. The project has yet to receive congressio- nal authorization, however, and there is no guarantee Congress will take it up this year. The Army Corps estimates the project will cost approximately $510 million. The South Carolina Ports Authority hopes the project will be completed on schedule by 2019. Jacksonv ille's ha rbor-deepening project is nearing the end of its design phase, and officials hope to see it fin - ished by the end of the decade. The project would take the St. Johns River from 40 to 47 feet and has a price tag of about $711 million. Although federal funds were authorized more than a year ago, the Obama budget failed to request any money for the project. Port Everglades received federal approval for a project last year to widen and deepen its main channels from 42 to 48 feet. The entire project is expected to cost $374 million and will be paid for through a variety of port user fees, and federal and state funding. The Nor t h Ca rolina State Por t s Authority has allocated up to $21.6 mil- lion to widen the Port of Wilmington's turning basin to accommodate larger vessels. The port is awaiting results next year of a feasibility study by the Army Corps for deepening its channel to as much as 47 feet. The Massachusetts Port Authority and the Army Corps agreed in March to start maintenance dredging, which will restore the Port of Boston's inner harbor to 40 feet. It's the first phase of the larger $310 million dredging project to deepen Boston's channel to 50 feet. The project has yet to receive funding, although President Obama specifically mentioned it when he signed the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014 into law. NEW SERVICES COMING TO GULF PORTS Gulf Coast ports never entered the race to deepen their harbors as much as East Coast ports, but they, too, are com - pleting projects that will enable them to handle some of the bigger ships coming through the new Panama Canal locks. Maersk Line and Mediterranean Ship- ping Co., partners in the 2M Alliance, in May will add a weekly Panama Canal ser- vice linking Asia with the U.S. Gulf ports of Houston and Mobile. The service, des- ignated the TP18 by Maersk and the Lone Star Express by MSC, will deploy 4,500- TEU vessels, according to Maersk. For Houston and Mobile, the new ser- vice is a big development. Both ports have been expanding container facilities in a bid to attract container services through the Panama Canal. Houston plans to invest $1.6 billion through 2021 to expand capacity at its Barbours Cut and Bayport container ter- minals. It has dredged the channel leading to the terminals to 45 feet and already has replaced four cranes at Barbours Cut with new super-post-Panamax cranes; three more are on order. Mobile, Alabama, is also gearing up for new Asian services using the new Pan- ama locks. APM Terminals in Mobile has ordered two new cranes that can handle ships with containers up to 21 contain- ers across. The new cranes will join two current cranes, which can handle up to 18 containers across, typical of 8,000- TEU ships. The new cranes will be able to handle ships up to 14,000 TEUs. The port widened its turning basin a few years ago to handle ships up to 1,300 feet in length.

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