WASHINGTON - Today, U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) Tom Carper (D-DE) and Chris Coons (D-DE) announced that the newly released budget by the Obama Administration for FY 2015 contains $35 million in funding for the Delaware River Main Channel Deepening Project, which will allow larger commercial ships to access vital Delaware River ports. This $15 million increase from FY 2014 is a significant step forward, and is the highest level of funding this project has received in any administration budget. The senators have urged the administration to dedicate sufficient resources to this project that will create jobs and anchor the region’s economy. Their efforts have helped to put this project on a pathway to completion in the next few years.
“Among our most important jobs as U.S. Senators is to create a nourishing environment for business,” Senator Carper said. “With the expansion of the Panama Canal on schedule for completion by the end of 2015, the trend is toward larger commercial ships. The funding proposed by the president to improve the Delaware River shipping channel will help to accommodate these vessels and increase business at the Port of Wilmington and ports throughout the region, helping to grow local commerce. This project is an excellent example of how investments in transportation infrastructure can be one of the surest ways government can invigorate our economic recovery by boosting commerce and creating jobs. Additionally, this increase in funding sets us on a path to complete the project on schedule, so that Delaware River ports will remain an efficient and competitive part of America’s trade network.”
“The Delaware River Deepening Project is critical to keeping our ports and our region competitive in the global marketplace,” said Senator Coons. “With the coming expansion of the Panama Canal, our ports must be prepared to accommodate larger cargo ships or risk losing business to our competitors. Deepening will bring new trade, investment, and thousands of new jobs to the Port of Wilmington and the Delaware Valley. I am thankful for the strong support the President’s budget proposal has shown for this project and will continue fighting to ensure its completion.”
“$35 million in funding for the Delaware Deepening Project in the President’s budget is a major victory for job creation in Philadelphia and the entire region,” Senator Casey said. “As the budget was in formulation I spoke directly to Vice President Biden on this issue and made clear the economic potential that this project has for the region. I’m pleased that the Administration has taken this step and I will work to protect these funds as we go through the budget process.”