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MKARNS 12-Foot Channel   

MKARNS 12-Foot-Channel

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.

map of the arkansas river nagivation system
(click above for a fully interactive map of the MKARNS)

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.

What is NEPA?

The National Environmental Policy Act is our basic national charter for protection of the environment. It is foremost a procedural law that helps ensure that federal decision makers take a hard look at the potential effects of a proposed action and allow the public and other stakeholders to comment on the federal agency’s effects analysis and consideration of reasonable alternatives. The NEPA analysis helps these decision makers understand the environmental consequences of the alternatives in comparative form before making a decision. This “hard look” is informed by the public and other stakeholders, starting with a project or study’s scoping phase.

graphic describing the national environmental policy act
* click the image to enlarge 

The environmental review process that accompanies Corps planning studies and its value to the public are not always easy to understand. Recognizing this, and to help the public and organizations effectively participate in federal agency environmental reviews, the Council on Environmental Quality wrote the informational A Citizen’s Guide to the NEPA