The following information is provided by the Ouachita River Valley Association, of which Hot Springs is a member.
Thanks to efforts by the Louisiana and Arkansas congressional delegations, state and local groups, business and industry interests and the Ouachita River Valley Association, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will allocate an additional $2 million in Fiscal Year 2017 appropriations funding to dredge the Ouachita-Black Rivers Navigation Project, LA & AR.
The new funding for the Ouachita-Black Rivers Waterway is outlined in the Army Corps Fiscal Year 2017 Work Plan. The Work Plan directs funding toward dredging the Ouachita-Black Rivers Navigation Project that will be added to the existing available dredging funding for this fiscal year. This additional funding will allow dredging in the Arkansas portion of the waterway that has not been dredged in recent years. The Ouachita-Black Rivers Navigation Project provides dependable year-round commercial navigation from the mouth of the Black River to Camden, Arkansas, a distance of approximately 337 river miles. The initial investment in the Ouachita-Black Rivers Navigation Project, LA & AR, of $240,612,000 in the 1970’s and 1980’s resulted in the construction of four locks and dams, two in Arkansas and two in Louisiana, each having a lock chamber 84 feet wide and 600 feet in length. The navigation channel is maintained to a 9 foot depth and 100 foot width to accommodate barge traffic. The additional $2.0M for maintenance dredging will ensure this federal and local investment project will continue to mature and return benefits to the region and nation.
“The additional $2 million was the Ouachita River Valley Association’s number one financial priority, said Randy Denmon, ORVA President. “This additional funding will ensure the waterway is fully maintained for commercial navigation and should signal to businesses and industries that this region is open for business.”
The Ouachita-Black Rivers Navigation Project serves as a vital component for current and future economic activities. The project provides multiple direct and indirect benefits beyond navigation by providing both public and commercial water supply and discharge benefits, recreational benefits, fish and wildlife conservation benefits, and flood damage reduction benefits that together enhance and improve the quality of life of the people in the Ouachita River Basin in Arkansas, Louisiana and the nation.