Columbia Dredging gets a Green Lightby Associated Press
Lewiston Tribune - November 19, 2003
WASHINGTON -- A project to deepen the Columbia River shipping channel moved forward Tuesday as Congress approved a bill allocating $3.5 million for the long-planned work.
The money was included in a huge, $27.3 billion bill financing energy and water projects for the budget year that began Oct. 1.
The bill, approved 387-36, also includes $15 million for salmon recovery in the Columbia and Snake rivers and $85 million for Columbia River fish mitigation to be shared among Washington state, Oregon and Idaho.
The money for the dredging project represents a compromise between the House, which had approved $2 million for the project, and the Senate, which had set aside $5 million. The Senate approved the compromise bill with a voice vote.
Rep. Brian Baird, D-Wash., said the bill would help Washington and Oregon ports remain competitive with other West Coast ports that can accommodate newer, larger cargo ships.
"By improving our river and port transportation system, we create new jobs and maintain a strong economy in our region," Baird said.
Dredging is supposed to begin next year.
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