February 22, 2016 | Port of Hueneme, CA – Paving the way forward for a bright future, at its meeting tonight the Board of Harbor Commissioners unanimously approved the signing of a Project Partnership Agreement (PPA) with the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to deepen the Port’s general navigation areas to 40 feet Mean Lower Low Water (MLLW). The Port is currently at a control depth of 35 feet MLLW. The PPA starts the process to finalize the design, engineering and environmental reviews, providing the building blocks that will lead to the construction phase of the deepening project scheduled to begin later this year. The PPA sets a mutual commitment of both parties to advance the project for which the Port contributes 35% of the cost and the USACE funds the balance of the approximate $8 million project.
“Moving forward with the deepening project will enhance the Port of Hueneme’s competitiveness, help to bring in new business, and ultimately boost Ventura County’s economy and create jobs in our region,” said Congresswoman Julia Brownley. “I am so pleased to support this critical infrastructure project, and look forward to continuing to work with Kristin Decas and the Port of Hueneme commissioners.”
Harbor Commissioner Manual Lopez spoke to the community benefits of the project stating, “We are pleased to advance this project that promises to bring prosperity to the constituents we serve. This project is particularly important because sand from the dredging, if it meets the environmental conditions, can be used for beach nourishment to protect our vital shoreline.”
Deepening the general navigation areas of the Port will improve efficiency and allow ocean carriers to more fully utilize the cargo capacity of their vessels. US Army Corps deputy Engineer for the Los Angeles District, Dave Van Dorpe commented, “The signing of this agreement is a very sweet moment for the Corps and the Port. We can now commence with the deepening project that will rev the economic engine of the Nation.”
The deepening and associated wharf enforcement projects are estimated to create hundreds of new jobs creating a positive economic impact on our community and businesses. In addition, the projects will attract new class vessels with increased capacities that are estimated to result in more than 200,000 tons annually in more cargo.
Kristin Decas, CEO and Port Director noted the economic gains associated with the deepening project, “Bringing the Port to 40 feet marks a significant game changer for the Port. Additional economic benefits include 563 new direct and indirect jobs for the region and $28 million in positive revenue impacts along with $4.6 million more in taxes for vital community services.” The Port retained and expert maritime economist, Martin & Associates to determine these economic returns.