Alabama Docks Buys Land For Expansion

The Alabama State Docks, Mobile, Ala., has purchased 143 acres of prime waterfront property for additional port expansion, according to an announcement by Robert M.

Hope, director.

Mr. Hope said the property was acquired at a cost of $11 million from the Illinois Central Gulf Railroad. It is located adjacent to some 600 acres which the state port facility already owns on McDuffie Island, just south of the main Docks complex.

The acquisition, together with the McDuffie Island property, provides an area for expansion that is nearly equal in size to that presently occupied by the main seaport complex.

Mr. Hope said the acquisition is one of the most far-reaching steps the Docks has ever taken. He said the additional property would provide an area for construction of port facilities to handle the increased business that will flow through the Port of Mobile upon completion of the Tennessee Tombigbee Waterway.

The director stated that a study currently underway to provide a 50-year development plan for Alabama's seaport recommends expansion southward, and the new acquisition follows that recommendation.

The property has approximately 1,900 feet of deepwater frontage on the Mobile River, and is located an average of only 1,000 feet from the Mobile Ship Channel. In addition, there are some 1,500 feet fronting on the leeward side that will provide sheltered water for marshaling of river barges, as well as LASH and SEABEE barges.

Since the newly acquired property is located south of the two highway tunnels which run beneath Mobile River, it can be used to build facilities to service deep-draft bulk carriers requiring more than the 40-foot depth of the current Mobile Ship Channel if additional dredging is authorized in the future. The channel cannot be dredged below 40 feet where it crosses the tunnels.

He said that long-range plans for the most efficient utilization of the property would be announced at a later date.8uj

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