Over the past decade, the marine transportation industry has shown increasing interest in Coos Bay for the development of an intermodal container terminal. With container ships increasing in size, the Oregon International Port of Coos Bay (the Port) sought authorization from the Assistant Secretary of Army (ASA) to pursue the required analysis of channel modifications for lower Coos Bay to serve the newest class of ships coming into service.
On June 11, 2007, the Port received authorization from the ASA-Civil Works to pursue the studies necessary to determine whether such a project should be recommended to the U.S. Congress for authorization. Under Section 203 of the Water Resources Development Act of 1986, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is the lead agency overseeing the process for a combined Feasibility Study/Environmental Impact Statement (FS/EIS) of the proposed channel modifications. The Port has hired David Evans and Associates and Integrated Water Solutions as its Project Management Team for the Section 203 process. The Draft FS/EIS is expected in May 2013, with a final FS/EIS and Record of Decision due in February 2014.
Capitalizing on opportunities for commerce
- Strengthen capacity for large container, break-bulk and bulk commodity ships at U.S. West Coast ports.
- Benefit the national economy.
- Improve security for the international movement of goods.
- Improve safety and efficiency in the Coos Bay Navigation Channel.
- Ship transit times would be shorter and more cost-effective.
- A net positive effect would be created to the estuary through mitigation.
- Project scope and timeline
- Elements of the proposed federal project may include:
- Deepening the federal navigation channel from the ocean entrance to the railroad bridge from its current authorized depth of -37 MLLW (Mean Lower Low Water) up to -51 MLLW.
- Widening from 300 feet up to 450 feet.
- Dredge material disposal.
- Potential ocean entrance jetty modifications.
- Ecosystem restoration.
- Maintenance dredging.
A map of the proposed project area is shown below. More information regarding the channel modification project can be found at www.CoosBayChannelEIS.com
Courtesy of www.portofcoosbay.com