Thursday, November 19, 2009

Stockton Port Channel Gets Fed Funds for Dredging

Congress has allocated more than $11 million for water projects in San Joaquin County, including nearly $3.4 million for maintenance dredging of the Port of Stockton's Deep Water Channel.

Located about 75 miles east of San Francisco Bay, the Port of Stockton is only accessible through the channel, which as part of a delta requires periodic dredging.

"These funds are also an injection of much-needed capital in the local economy," Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Pleasanton, said in a news release. "Our area needs the jobs that projects like these can help create and save."

Built in the early 1930s to a depth of 30 feet, the Deep Water Channel went through a major dredging project in the late 1980s, providing up to 70 feet of depth in some areas. The channel still ranges from 35 feet to 70 feet throughout its entire length. An Army Corps of Engineers study is under way of a $140 million plan to increase the minimum depth of the channel to 40 feet, thereby allowing much larger vessels to transit.