Port of Los Angeles to receive US$58 million funding for harbour maintenance

Port of Los Angeles
Photo: Port of Los Angeles official Facebook page

The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has confirmed that the Port of Los Angeles will receive an estimated US$58 million in federal funding this year for maintaining its harbour channels and repairing its wharves.

The Port of Los Angeles estimates the total need for navigation maintenance and repair projects at US$6.7 billion. In addition to dredging, pending projects include seismic safety upgrades, wharf and fender repairs, pile replacements, sediment removal and remediation, and improvements to slips and channels.

The amount is part of the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund (HMTF) administered by the USACE on behalf of the US federal government. Importers pay a 0.125 per cent tax on the value of their cargo to fund maintenance projects on the nation’s navigable waterways to ensure the safe flow of commerce.

Enacted in 1986, the HMTF was initially limited in its use to maintenance dredging to maintain the authorised depth and width of federal navigation channels.

A handful of US ports – most notably deep-water ports such as Los Angeles and Long Beach – contributed half of HMTF revenue, but recouped a mere three per cent return due to their naturally deep harbours and lack of need for maintenance dredging projects. Over time, HMTF revenues outpaced spending and the fund built up a multibillion-dollar surplus.

The federal 2024 Fiscal Year allocation of approximately US$58 million to the Port of Los Angeles is a nearly tenfold increase compared with US$6 million the port received in 2023.

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