With 445-miles of navigation channel, the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System is part of the United States inland waterway system. Originating at the Port of Catoosa in Tulsa and running through Oklahoma and Arkansas to the Mississippi River, the MKARNS provides a minimum nine-foot-deep navigation channel and is considered a "high-use" system that sees 10-11 million tons of cargo each year. This is the equivalent of 437,287 semi-trucks or 109,322 railcars.
The MKARNS 12-foot channel project is part of an effort to improve navigation on the MKARNS by deepening the navigation channel to 12 feet. While this may not seem like a significant change, each additional foot of draft would allow a barge to carry another 200 tons of cargo. With a consistent 12-foot channel, the MKARNS would have the capacity to carry as much as 40-45 million tons.
MKARNS 2030 Project Delivery Team
The MKANRS 2030 PDT is a multidiscipline team made up of members from the Tulsa and Little Rock Districts of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The goal of the team is to envision and strategically plan for what the MKARNS will look like in the next 10 years. This includes planning for the management of all work associated with the 3-Rivers project, the 12-foot Channel project, execution of annual O&M and special items funding, and the potential Infrastructure Bill funding. The team is focused on efficient regional management of all the upcoming work as a system rather than disparate parts, appropriate surging of the regional/system capabilities to manage the work through 2030, planning for sustainable long-term capabilities to proactively manage maintenance needs after 2030, and a comprehensive communication plan to communicate with all stakeholders to encourage appropriate investment on the MKARNS.