TahlequahDailyPress.com By D.E. Smoot | CNHI News Oklahoma Updated May 13, 2020
MUSKOGEE, Okla. — State transportation officials’ plan to pursue federal funds for the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Modernization Project won support from the Muskogee City-County Port Authority.
Directors committed up to $2 million to be used as local matching funds to demonstrate support for a grant application expected to be submitted later this month to the U.S. Department of Transportation. ODOT officials are pursuing a BUILD grant for an estimated $26.27 million project that would include, among other things, the replacement of mooring structures at the Port of Muskogee.
The structures were swallowed by floodwaters after the Arkansas River rose to near historic crests nearly a year ago. The lowering of Webbers Falls pool to accommodate the removal of two renegade barges that crashed into Lock & Dam 16 after being swept from the port by floodwaters revealed years of deterioration that would be addressed if funding is secured.
Port Director Scott Robinson said Oklahoma Transportation Secretary Tim Gatz is an advocate for MKARNS who recognized in 2019 the mooring structures at the Port of Muskogee were not designed for flooding like that which occurred in late May and early June. The improvements, Robinson said, would enhance harbor safety by reducing the risks of losing barges and infrastructure damage...
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