Savannah River Harbor Deepening Finally to Begin

| October 1, 2014

Savannah PortsSAVANNAH — One of the state’s largest economic engines is finally getting its long-awaited horsepower boast.

The US Army Corps of Engineers and the State of Georgia will next week sign the final document opening the way for the Harbor Expansion Project.  This will allow for the $706 million project to get underway.

There will be two initial contracts offered.  The first includes dredging the outer harbor and creating a channel extension.  The second involves the construction of a dissolved oxygen injection system for the inner harbor (known as a bubbler) which increases oxygen content in the water.

“This expansion project is vitally important for economic development and job creation on a local and national level,” Governor Nathan Deal said. “After years of regulatory purgatory, we will soon start moving dirt. I’m grateful to all involved for working tirelessly to see this project through to fruition.

“Next Wednesday will certainly be a great day for Georgia.”

It has taken 15 years for the deepening of the harbor to 47 feet to begin.  It was initially approved by Congress in 1999.

Both Corps and Ports officials agree that the deepening is crucial in keeping the Port’s place as one of the nation’s busiest.  Currently, no port from North Carolina to Texas has a waterway deep enough to accomdate the massive ships now passing through the Panama Canal fully loaded at low tide.

Further, experts believe the deepening will continue the trend of shifting port activity from the West Coast of the US to the East Coast.

For every dollar spent on this project, there will be $5.50 of economic benefit to Georgia and the nation.  The Port of Savannah is the nation’s fourth-busiest and the fastest-growing container port in the nation, moving on average 3 million 20-foot containers a year.

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