$46M in Army Corps funding to Calcasieu River project

LAKE CHARLES, La. (AP) — Port officials in Lake Charles are hailing $46 million in federal funding that is going toward a project designed to improve navigation to port facilities in Lake Charles.

The money for the Calcasieu River and Pass Project was included in the Army Corps of Engineers' funding plan that was announced Tuesday, the American Press reported.

Port of Lake Charles Director Bill Rase told the newspaper that it was a “big deal for the community."

According to the newspaper, $27.4 million of the money will go toward the Calcasieu Ship Channel. A little over $1 million will go toward the Port of Lake Charles while $18 million is slated for rebuilding spoil disposal sites.

According to the Army Corps of Engineers' website, the project provides deep draft access to the Port of Lake Charles. The agency said the port is the 11th largest in the country as determined by tonnage. The project also “provides for a salt-water barrier structure" north of Lake Charles, according to the website.

There are about 40 industries that rely on the ship channel to carry products, the newspaper reported. Rase said those industries will benefit from the project, and he applauded Louisiana's federal officials for getting the funds.

"Without this, (companies) would end up with lesser volume of product used or shipped, which would impact their bottom line," he told the newspaper.