Leaders, community frustrated by port plans, progress

Port officials say they have known for several years restoration and expansion would not deliver to Gulfport mega-ships from the Panama Canal, but political leaders and the public are just now getting that message.

Port Restoration Director Joe Conn told residents of North Gulfport, who are counting on jobs to offset pollution and traffic congestion from an expanded port, no mega-ships from the Panama Canal will be docking. The ship channel is too shallow.

The residents were stunned, as were political leaders who read Conn’s remarks Wednesday morning in the Sun Herald.”I am concerned about what appears to be a change in direction nearly seven years after Hurricane Katrina,” Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves said. “I intend to address what seems to be a lack of vision for our long-term economic growth prospects with (the Mississippi Development Authority) and the port.”

Sun Herald
7/26/12