COOS BAY — Governor Kate Brown has released her recommended budget and policy agenda for the 2019-2021 term, in which the Port of Coos Bay is listed to receive some funding.
The budget recommends $20 million in state funds be given to the International Port of Coos Bay for channel improvements.
Port funds are labeled under the section of the governor’s budget designated as investments for rural communities.
Modifying the Coos Bay Navigation Channel is anticipated to cost approximately $300-$400 million.
According to the Port, the need for larger shipping channels stems from maritime freight transportation trending toward larger ships.
Coos Bay has the largest coastal deep-water channel from San Francisco to the Puget Sound. The bay’s current channel is currently 300 feet wide and 37 feet deep. After the widening project, the shipping channel will be 450 feet wide and 45 feet deep. The last deepening project modifying the Coos Bay Navigation Channel was from 1996 to 1998, increasing the authorized channel depth from 35 feet to 37 feet.
The widening project is an attempt by the Port to bring new industries to Coos Bay. The Port owns over 600 acres of greenfield — developable industrial lands on the North Spit — within both free trade and enterprise zones, and the North Bay Urban Renewal Agency boundary.
The project is still in its engineering and design phase. Under the proposed schedule, dredging activities are slated to begin in late 2019 and conclude in 2022.