Port of Savannah GA dredging operations Georgia Ports Authority/Stephen B Morton
The container ship COSCO Glory (at right), with a capacity of 13,100 twenty-foot equivalent container units, passes the dredge Padre Island as it works the Savannah Harbor entrance channel.

Savannah Harbor Expansion Project reaches crucial milestone

Georgia Gov Nathan Deal announced that the US Army Corps of Engineers has completed outer harbor dredging at the Port of Savannah, marking the midpoint of the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project (SHEP).

“The completion of outer harbor dredging marks the midpoint for SHEP and represents a crucial milestone for the Savannah community, the state of Georgia and the nation as a whole,” said Deal. “The Port of Savannah is already the second-busiest port in the nation for exports, and the timely completion of this project will be a major step forward for our nation’s infrastructure. To ensure that SHEP remains on schedule, my FY 2018 budget proposal calls for $35 million in additional support for the project.”

SHEP recently received $49 million in President Trump’s FY 2018 budget request to Congress. Georgia’s congressional delegation is working to increase funding to $100 million per year, the amount needed to complete the project in a timely manner.

A study by the Corps of Engineers estimates that once the project is complete, the deepening of the harbor will result in a net benefit of $282 million in transportation savings for shippers and consumers per year. According to the Corps’ benefit-to-cost ratio, each dollar spent on construction will yield $7.30 in net benefits to the nation’s economy.

Over the next 10 years, GPA will invest approximately $2 billion in new cranes and terminal infrastructure to handle expanding cargo volumes.

“In Georgia, we’re making the investments necessary to support US producers well into the future,” said Griff Lynch, GPA executive director. “Similarly, the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project is crucial to keep US-made products competitive globally, because the heavier goods require deeper draft to take advantage of cost savings from Neo-Panamax vessels.”

The first half of the project deepened the outer harbor to 49 feet at low tide (56 feet at high tide). The inner harbor channel will be expanded from its current low-tide depth, 42 feet, to 47 feet (54 feet at high tide).

Access www.gaports.com for more details.

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