Dredging Plan for Columbia is Approvedby Associated Press
Seattle Times - January 10, 2004
PORTLAND -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approved a final plan for deepening the Columbia River shipping channel yesterday, ending more than a decade of federal studies and revisions for the massive dredging project.
The project will affect the river from the Pacific Ocean to Portland, past five other ports.
Maj. Gen. Carl Strock signed a Record of Decision for a final plan yesterday, the corps said in a statement.
That ends the federal review process for the dredging plans, according to Matt Rabe, a spokesman for the corps.
The plan approved yesterday will cost $2 million or so more than original estimates because of changes asked for by state regulators in Oregon and Washington, Rabe said. The final cost will run about $136 million, he said.
Washington and Oregon had asked the corps to cancel two ecosystem-restoration projects that would have allowed crews to dispose of dredge spoils to create shallow habitat for juvenile salmon.
Instead, the spoils will be shipped to the ocean for disposal, Rabe said.
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