A $1.09 million dredging project near the mouth of the Vinton Navigation Channel was completed last month, Port of Vinton officials said.

The Mandeville-based contractor, Magnolia Dredging, removed more than 21,400 cubic yards of spoils over more than a five-month period. The work brought the depth of the channel where it enters into the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway to 14 feet.

The channel runs from the port, seven miles south to the GIWW. The project had 2,300 linear feet of the channel dredged from the GIWW north.

Jerry Merchant, port board of commissioners president, said the channel had not been dredged in more than seven years. Over time, sediment gathered near the mouth of the channel and eventually caused navigation issues for shallow water vessels and barges.

The dredge spoils were moved onto nearby private open-water areas to create new marshlands. Stream Land Company allowed for their property to take in the spoils.

Two corners of land bordering the channel where it enters into the GIWW were also altered, making navigation easier for tugboat operators.

Merchant said the project was a combined effort by the port, the Gravity Drainage District No. 2 and the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury. Funding for the project included a $200,000 Economic Development Riverboat Gaming Fund grant, a $500,000 Road and Drainage Trust Fund grant awarded through the drainage district and port dollars.

Online: portofvinton.com

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