Mobile ship channel upgrade initiated by State port authority, Alabama

June 7, 2021 Maritime Safety News

The state port authority of Alabama has initiated work on the Mobile Ship Channel. This up-gradation is part of the $365.7 million Mobile Harbor project which is due for completion in 2025. The work has been started with the deepening and widening of the Mobile ship channel.

Mobile is the only deepwater port in Alabama and has a number of bulk and breakbulk piers. It also houses a cruise terminal and APM terminals. The port authority has stated that the bay channel will be widened by 100ft for the length of about three nautical miles. This among other safety improvements will make two-way traffic along the channel possible. In addition to this the bar, bay, and river channels will be deepened by about 50ft, the wave allowances and advanced maintenance will also be taken into consideration and depth increased accordingly.

Senator Richard Shelby stated that he was pleased that the construction aimed to deepen and widen the Port of Mobile was finally becoming a reality. He also stated that this had been his highest priority for many years. The port has been making significant investments anticipating the construction of a deeper channel. Just over the previous year, 20 acres of container handling yard have been added to the port and the existing docks have been extended to accommodate two post-Panamax boxships. The project cost the port authority over $50 million.

Senator Richard Shelby has been an ardent advocate for harbor improvements. He has stated that the project would improve Alabama’s fortunes, providing greater economic opportunities and that the modernization of this port will pay off, giving a competitive edge to the United States in the global market. Alabama is providing financial support to the project by the issuance of a $150 million bond.