With the help of more than $92 million from the Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act, the Army Corps of Engineers in the Tulsa and Little Rock districts has launched efforts to deepen the the shipping channel on the 445-mile McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System.
Plans call for the channel to be deepened to 12 feet in an effort to make the Arkansas River more navigable for heavier barge traffic. A deeper River would allow barges to carry heavier loads.
Deepening the channel will allow the existing inland commercial fleet to sail at deeper drafts that are consistent with those on the Lower Mississippi River.
One report indicated the additional draft would allow some barges to carry up to 33% more cargo. KATV in Little Rock reported the Army Corps of Engineers estimated that more than a million cubic yards will need to be dredged from the river bottom to deepen areas of the river from Tulsa to the Mississippi River.
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