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Corps Studies Columbia Deepening

The Corps of Engineers is in the final year of a five-year study to assess the feasibility of improving the Columbia River channel. The study area is from the mouth of the river, upstream to the Interstate 5 bridge between Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, Washington, and from the mouth of the Willamette River upstream to the Broadway Bridge in Portland. The structural alternatives under study are a 41, 42 and 43-foot channel. Possibility of a regional port, certain non-structural alternatives and the effect of no action are included in the study.

The first reconnaissance study started in December 1989 and was completed one year later. In August 1993, a federal cost sharing agreement was signed, and in April 1994, a dredged material management study (DMMS) and environmental impact statement were begun. The DMMS was completed in September 1998, and public review of the draft EIS started in October of that year. On November 22, 1999, the final public review of the final environmental impact statement ended.

Total study costs, including the non-federal share and the DMMS, is $9.6 million. Non-federal cost share requirements are 50 percent of the feasibility study and 25 percent of potential construction costs.

Non-federal sponsors of the study are the ports of Portland, St. Helens and Astoria in Oregon, and the ports of Longview, Kalama, Woodland and Vancouver in Washington.

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