On Friday, May 21st, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers kicked off a 4-year modernization project to improve the highly trafficked Port of Mobile. Their goal? To deepen, widen and overall improve the Mobile Ship Harbor by 2025. Keep reading for all the details.
What’s so important about the Port of Mobile?
If you’re not from Mobile, it’s easy to misunderstand how massive the Port of Mobile is—in fact, the Port of Mobile is the country’s 9th largest port as of 2014. As the only deep-water port in Alabama, the Port of Mobile allows huge commercial shipments to both enter and exit the country For example, the Port of Mobile helped transport 23 million tons of cargo in 424,473 shipping containers in 2020.
What does the Alabama Seaport Modernization Program mean for Mobile?
The modernization of the Port of Mobile is part of the Alabama Seaport Modernization Program, a $365.7M project facilitated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. This is part of a larger plan to modernize Alabama’s harbors, as another $50M contract was completed not too long ago. This contract expanded the yard and dock space, but with more capacity comes larger ships. That’s the main focus of the $360-some-million contract, to improve the ship capacity at Mobile’s Port through a very involved dredging project.
The main goal by the end of the project is to turn Mobile into a globally-competitive trading port by deepening the canals from their current 45 feet in depth to at least 50 ft, with allowances for tides and storm surges. This, in combination with the deepening of the turning basin, will allow for larger cargo ships to make trips to-and-from the Port of Mobile.