Houston Channel Dredging Expedited

9-6-05 - Anticipating that ship traffic will be diverted from the damaged ports of New Orleans and Gulfport, Miss., a dredging project in the Houston Ship Channel has been expedited.

The project, which will allow larger and more vessels through the channel, is now expected to be completed later this week, according to port officials.

"Because of the incident with Katrina and lots of calls for diverted cargo with deep-water vessels, the Corps of Engineers and the port and the Houston Pilots got together and got procedures to expedite the dredging," port spokeswoman Argentina James said.

Before Hurricane Katrina damaged the Gulf Coast ports, vessels would stop first in the Port of New Orleans, drop off cargo, and then head to Houston.

Now vessels headed for Houston will be carrying that extra load. Heavier ships sit lower in the water.