- Associated Press - Monday, February 10, 2014

VICKSBURG, Miss. (AP) - Expansion at the Port of Vicksburg was on the minds of city and Warren County officials after the returned from a recent trip to Washington, D.C.

Currently, the county is seeking grant funding for a study on exactly how much the port should expand, said Wayne Mansfield, director of the Warren County Port Commission.

“If you look up and down the Mississippi River, there are very few river sites available. We want to be the leader in the state of Mississippi,” Mansfield told the Vicksburg Post (https://bit.ly/1eFrliZ ).

The officials met with Mississippi’s congressional delegation.

Mayor George Flaggs Jr. said the conversation focused on the importance of the Mississippi River and how Vicksburg plans to reclaim its status as a major transportation and shipping hub.

Expanding the Port of Vicksburg would cost an estimated $5 million to $10 million, said Bill Lauderdale, president of the board of supervisors.

“That’s what we’re trying to get some help on. It’s in the beginning stages, but we’re looking at a couple different things,” Lauderdale said. “It’s not cheap.”

Adding additional industrial sites at the at-capacity Port of Vicksburg would benefit not just Warren County but the entire region, he said.

“If we can get it done and land one of the industries that require the river, we’ve got some good paying jobs that will be available,” Lauderdale said.

Mansfield said energy and chemical-related industries are shipping more.

“I think in the coming years, there will be an emphasis on some containerized barge shipping, and we certainly want to position ourselves to be ready for that,” Mansfield said.

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Information from: The Vicksburg Post, https://www.vicksburgpost.com

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