Corps Of Engineers To Study Deepening Mississippi River

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — With the size of ships growing, the Army Corps of Engineers says it will begin looking at deepening the lower Mississippi River by as much as 5 feet — a move that would prove costly and carry ecological consequences.

         On Tuesday the Army Corps said it would hold three public meetings in Belle Chasse, New Orleans and Baton Rouge to discuss the study and the river's future.

         An expanded Panama Canal is scheduled to be opened in 2016 and it will be able to accommodate ships with a draft of 50 feet. But between the Gulf of Mexico and Baton Rouge, the Mississippi River can accommodate ships with a draft of 45 feet.

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         Now the corps says it is looking at deepening the channel to as much as 50 feet.



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