The Arkansas Waterways Commission has awarded grants for capital improvements and dredging projects at ports along the Mississippi River.
The Crittenden County Port Authority was awarded $1 million to remove metal dolphins and replace a mooring pylon north of the dock to improve dangerous water flow conditions. Funds will also be used to mitigate/remove upstream debris, and to strengthen the dock substructure.
The project will help correct an eddy issue that has been inhibiting consistently reliable dock operations, the commission said in a news release. Correcting the eddy will facilitate port and economic development and increase waterborne commerce and tonnage
at the port.
The Osceola Port Authority received $417,102 to replace aging cargo handling equipment. Upgrading this equipment will help increase cargo handling capacity by improving the efficiency of loading and unloading barges and trucks.
Along with Helena Harbor, where Arkansas Business previously reported an expansion is underway, the ports handle about 200,000 tons of goods annually.
"The river forms the entire eastern border of Arkansas, and these three ports are responsible for importing and exporting billions of dollars in goods each year," Gov. Asa Hutchinson said in the release. "It is vital that we maintain and improve the ports to ensure our state’s economic health now and in the future."