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Philadelphia port authority posts progress with channel deepening project


The Philadelphia Regional Port Authority (PRPA) recently announced the Delaware River Main Channel Deepening Project is about 60 percent complete.

The project, which began in spring 2010 and is funded by the federal government and PRPA, calls for deepening 102 miles of the Delaware River shipping channel to 45 feet. In late May, an 11-mile stretch of the Delaware River's main shipping channel in Delaware was completed.

"A deeper shipping channel will allow us to welcome a wider variety of cargo vessels to the Port of Philadelphia," said PRPA Chairman Charles Kopp in a press release.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is performing the channel deepening work in partnership with PRPA and private dredging contractors selected through a public bidding process.

The PRPA now is working with supporters, including Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett and other state and federal officials, to secure the project's remaining funding. The authority is trying to complete the project in time for the 2015 opening of the expanded Panama Canal, which is expected to greatly increase shipping traffic along the U.S. East Coast.

The PRPA's Packer Avenue and Tioga marine terminals are served by Canadian Pacific, CSX Transportation and Norfolk Southern Railway.


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