Great Lakes dredging needs causes short shipments, detours

CLEVELAND (AP) - Shippers say the need for increased dredging of the Great Lakes to accommodate shippers has forced some to take detours or handle smaller loads.

They issue threatens the shipping of items such as cement, limestone, iron ore, coal, wood pulp, salt and construction materials.

The Lake Carriers Association is a shipowners group in Cleveland that will launch an effort to draw attention to the problem on May 3 in Washington, D.C.

The group says it would cost nearly $200 million to restore ports and waterways to their designed depth.

A U.S. Army Corps of Engineers official in Cincinnati says the corps' budget has not kept pace with inflation for many years. He says that the corps is not mandated to keep channels at their authorized depths.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)