WASHINGTON — The Army Corps of Engineers plans to spend more than $85 million this year on a project to deepen the main channel of the Mississippi River in Louisiana.

U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana announced the funding Monday. President Donald Trump's budget for fiscal year 2021 also includes more than $45 million for the dredging project. 

The plan to increase the depth of the channel from about 45 feet to 50 feet would allow several southeast Louisiana ports to accept large cargo ships built to take advantage of the Panama Canal's expansion.

The project is expected to cost almost $240 million, with Louisiana covering more than $100 million.

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