Virginia's and South Carolina's ports do twice the business of North Carolina's two ports of Morehead City and Wilmington. To make the port of Wilmington competitive, North Carolina and the federal government will begin a project in July 2000 to deepen the port and 26 miles of river from 38 to 42 feet. The five-year project will cost $339 million. When the project is completed, 85 percent of the world's commercial fleet can sail into Wilmington. Some, however, feel dredging will not help, since Wilmington lacks the natural advantages of the other ports.