The Tulsa Port of Catoosa continues to look for funding for $180 million for river way improvements Chairman David Page said during Monday’s the State of the Port Address.
“We have been working to get this to be a priority at the federal level for four to five years, but the challenge at the federal level is finding money,” Page said.
Plans include deepening the channel to 12 feet. It is currently servicing barges carrying loads rated for 8 to 10 feet depths.
The proposed project will allow for heavier barges to travel into the port that will provide companies the ability to ship approximately 30 percent more cargo.
Increase in demand and crude oil shipments beginning last July have made the project to deepen the port a top priority.
More than 80, 000 barrels of oil have been shipped and demand continues.
The existing water system is primarily 12 feet deep but that depth does not currently extend all the way into the main port.
The system is authorized to 12 feet and funding is keeping the project from full development, according to Port Director Bob Portiss.
He suggests using the existing dredgers to slowly deepen the port over time.
Officials also believe support from Congress including the District 2 Representative Dan Boren and a partnership with local communities will be needed to get the issue addressed on the federal level. Other projects including removing existing structures on the main port dock and adding additional cranes.
The Port Authority also announced plans to add a parking area for semi truck drivers inside the port. The complete scope of that project was not outlined but the proposal will help with deliveries and traffic flow.
Road maintenance is planned inside the port grounds for this year and an extension of the rail yard to include a round house for engine maintenance is included.