WASHINGTON, D.C., April 26, 2023 – U.S. Senator Katie Britt (R-Ala.) highlighted the critical importance of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ work at the Port of Mobile during a recent hearing of the Energy and Water Development Subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Appropriations.
As Alabama’s only seaport, the Port of Mobile has a statewide economic impact of $85 billion and generates nearly 313,000 direct and indirect jobs. The port handles more than 55 million tons of international and domestic cargo annually. As the fastest growing container terminal in the United States, the Port of Mobile has seen a 54.9% growth in volume since 2017. The port had its busiest year on record in 2022.
The Corps of Engineers is currently in the process of deepening the Mobile Ship Channel to allow for two-way traffic and give larger ships with more cargo easy access. Work on this project began in 2021 and is expected to be fully completed by March of 2025.
“The deepening and widening of the Mobile Ship Channel will bring unprecedented economic growth to the entire state of Alabama and the communities surrounding Mobile Bay,” said Senator Britt in her remarks.
Senator Britt thanked Assistant Secretary of the Army Michael Connor for visiting the Port of Mobile last week to see the progress firsthand and asked if the project would be completed on time.
“Everything I learned last week is that we’re still on progress,” Assistant Secretary Connor said.
Senator Britt also asked about allowing the Port of Mobile to repurpose their Port Energy Funds to address expenses such as dredging, operations, and maintenance. Under the new regulations in place, any repurposing of Port Energy Funds must be approved by the Corps Headquarters.
Assistant Secretary Connor pledged to look into the matter and allow for more flexibility.
“If we want every Alabamian to live the American Dream, we have to keep opening new doors of economic opportunity. The Port of Mobile connects our state’s industry, locally owned businesses, and agriculture with the rest of the country and the world. Continuing to make improvements gives the port the ability to attract new business and keep their existing customers. As a member of the Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, I’ll continue to be an advocate for Alabama’s priorities and ensure that these crucial projects are completed,” Senator Britt stated.