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The North Carolina State Ports Authority has charted a three-year plan to complete $53.5 million in major maintenance and construction projects by 1998, and a 10-year, $283-million plan of capital development, which includes dredging of the Wilmington channel to 42 feet.
More than 80 percent of the tonnage that crosses state docks depends on equipment or facilities that are more than 25 years old.
The North Carolina General Assembly provided the authority with $6.2 million in 1997 for three projects at the Port of Wilmington: $4.1 million to purchase a new gantry crane, $1.4 million for replacement of a T-head pier and $780,000 for land acquisition. It marked the first allocation from the state since 1987.
The state ports have received $16 million the past two years from the state's Repairs and Renovations Fund to pay for maintenance projects at Wilmington and Morehead City. The repair …