HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — Construction for a new channel in the Alafia River began Thursday, Sept. 21. Its creation is expected to improve boater safety.

The 150-foot-long channel will stretch from the U.S. 41 bridge to the federal portion of the river.

Its course will be traced with green and red navigation markers. Crews started placing pilings in the water today.

Boating along this waterway is often disrupted by anchored and derelict boats.

Hillsborough County’s Marine Safety Division said this is one way to fix the problem because boats are not allowed to anchor in a channel.

“Doing it the way we do it on a budget that we have, [it costs] somewhere around $15,000 and that’s not coming directly out of the taxpayer’s pocket,” Marine Safety Specialist A.J. Matthews said. “That money is coming from the boater improvement fund which every boat owner pays for.”

Matthews said he expects to finish the project by tomorrow.