The US Government has allocated $12.5m for the Port of West Sacramento’s ship-channel project in the proposed budget for 2011.

The deep-channel project involves deepening the 43-mile channel between the port and the San Francisco Bay to 35ft from 30ft.

The funding will initiate the first phase of construction and will be used for continued planning, engineering and design.

The project, expected to finish in 2013, will allow over 75% of fully loaded ocean-going freight ships to access the port, up from the current 40%.

Dredging the channel is expected to cost nearly $80m, with $60m of that money expected to come from the federal government.