Delaware River Dredging Project to Proceed

John Barna, Gloucester County Times -- Pennsylvania will provide $15 million to deepen the Delaware River channel off a portion of the Salem County shoreline — a project New Jersey officials have steadfastly opposed and thought was dead given a lack of federal funding.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett announced the award from the commonwealth’s capital projects fund on Wednesday during a visit to the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority’s Packer Avenue Marine Terminal. The Philadelphia Regional Port Authority has been the local sponsor for the deepening project being handled by the Army Corps of Engineers.

In addition to the $15 million in direct funding, the regional port authority is attempting to secure “unencumbered funds from the Army Corps of Engineers that could be assigned to this project,” said William B. McLaughlin, director of government and public affairs for the authority.

The funds are enough to deepen the river’s current 40 foot channel by five feet for an approximate five mile area between the Delaware Memorial Bridge and north of Wilmington, said Ed Voigt, spokesman for the Army Corps of Engineers office in Philadelphia. The dredge spoils are earmarked for a federally-owned tract along the Delaware in the Pedricktown section of Oldmans Township, Voigt said.

McLaughlin said his agency “is trying” to launch the project “as soon as possible.”

The project is anticipated to be completed before March — when such work would cease for fish spawning and other ecological reasons, he said.

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