Elected Officials Celebrate Completion
by April Baer
Thursday in Vancouver a high-powered list of elected leaders celebrated the completion of a major engineering project.
The Columbia River's shipping channel has been dredged and deepened to 43 feet. Before now, the river couldn't accommodate a new generation of larger shipping vessels.
Oregon House Speaker Dave Hunt says regional grain exporters missed a lot of opportunities.
Dave Hunt "They couldn't fully load these ships. There were ships leaving the port empty."
Hunt says ships had to carry less cargo or risk getting stuck in the channel.
Dave Hunt "Now as a result of this deeper channel, they'll be able to add 6000 tons of additional cargo per ship."
Washington and Oregon started funding the project during the last recession for a total investment of about $55 million. The federal government paid an additional $140 million.
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