A bi-partisan grouping of US congressmen has written a letter to President Donald Trump urging him to fully fund harbour maintenance programs in his budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2018.
In the letter the 75 members of the House of Representatives write: “The US needs fully maintained navigation channels for safe and efficient freight transportation to the global marketplace.”
No specific money amount is mentioned but the letter does refer back to how the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014 (WRRDA) called for financial year 2018 harbour maintenance expenditures to equal 74% of financial year 2017 harbour maintenance Tax revenue.
The money will go to funding US Army Corps of Engineers operation and maintenance activities, primarily dredging work.
While President Trump alone cannot make the decision, which ultimately falls on Congress, the president’s initial budget request can significantly sway the process.
Meanwhile, the Trump administration has assured the Port of South Louisiana that dredging of the Mississippi River is included in the president’s 50 Emergency and National Security Projects.
The Port of South Louisiana is a 54-mile port district on the Mississippi between New Orleans and Baton Rouge.
It is estimated the Mississippi dredging would cost $1bn.
During the presidential campaign and since winning the election President Trump has promised to spend $1 trillion on across-the-board infrastructure repair and upgrades.