The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Mobile District has released the draft Mobile Harbor, Mobile, Alabama Integrated General Reevaluation Report with Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (Draft GRR/SEIS) for a 45-day public comment period.
In June 2014, the Alabama State Port Authority requested the Corps consider increasing the depth and width of the federal Mobile harbor channel, specifically looking at the feasibility of constructing the channel to dimensions authorized in Section 201 of the 1986 Water Resources Development Act (WRDA). The Tentatively Selected Plan (TSP) identified in the draft GRR/SEIS recommends improvements that are less than the dimensions authorized in 1986 WRDA.
The TSP includes:
- Deepening the existing bar and bay channels (including the Choctaw Pass Turning Basin), and a portion of the river channel by 5 feet to project depths of 52, 50 and 50 feet, respectively; with an additional 2 feet for advanced maintenance, plus 2 feet of allowable overdepth for dredging.
- Incorporating minor bend easings at the double bends in the bar channel approach to the Bay Channel.
- Widening the Bay Channel from 400 to 500 feet from the mouth of Mobile Bay northward for 3 nautical miles to provide a two-way traffic area for passing.
- Expanding the Choctaw Pass Turning Basin 250 feet to the south (at a depth of 50 feet) to better accommodate safe turning of the design vessel and other large vessels.
Material dredged during improvements will be placed at a relic shell mined area and the Mobile Ocean Dredged Material Disposal Site. Suitable materials will also be placed at the Sand Island Beneficial Use Area (SIBUA). Future material from channel maintenance will be placed at these disposal sites, as well as open-water sites adjacent to the channel, the northwestern SIBUA expansion, and/or upland disposal sites.
A copy of the Draft GRR/SEIS can be viewed here.
Written comments may be submitted to the Corps, Mobile District by mail, facsimile, or electronic mail by the closing of the public comment period on September 10, 2018: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile District, Attention: PD-EC, 109 St. Joseph Street, Mobile, AL 36602. Email comments to: MobileGRR@usace.army.mil or fax to (251) 690-2054