LAKE CHARLES, La. (AP) — Port of Lake Charles officials say vessel traffic is expected to increase by more than 50 percent over the next five years and double within the decade.

The American Press reports the port released the second of three reports Tuesday during a Harbor and Safety Committee meeting, studying the current and future projections of traffic on the Calcasieu Ship Channel.

The major find of the study is that the ship channel can handle the additional vessels but that dredging and channel widening are necessary.

With more than $67 billion worth of projected capital investments in Southwest Louisiana, half of those investments correlate with the port. The influx of channel use is attributed to expanded operations of existing terminals and the construction of several proposed facilities.