The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has signed a final economic justification report for the proposed Mississippi River Ship Channel deepening project.

In signing the report, USACE director of civil works James C. Dalton said the project, which aims to deepen the channel to a depth of 50 ft (15.2 m), is “economically justified and environmentally sustainable” and recommended approval of funding for the project.

The project will deepen the channel by 5 ft (1.5 m) from the Gulf of Mexico to the port of Greater Baton Rouge. It is estimated that the federal share of finance the project would be USD118.1 million, while the non-federal share would be approximately USD39.4 million.

The Lower Mississippi River is home to some of the USA’s largest ports, including the port of South Louisiana, New Orleans and Greater Baton Rouge.