Political bickering threatens joint SC, GA port

HARDEEVILLE, S.C. (AP) - Officials in a South Carolina county that's long hoped for a $500 million seaport on the Savannah River say they worry the project might die because of political bickering between Georgia and South Carolina.

The two states have worked since 2007 toward building a jointly owned port on 1,500 acres in Jasper County, just across the river from Savannah.

Now their cooperation is being tested. South Carolina's port chairman, Bill Stern, says he's hesitant to spend any more money on the project because a proposal to deepen Savannah's shipping harbor would use the Jasper site as a waste dump, making it unsuitable for construction. Georgia officials say the Jasper County port could still be built.

Gary Hodges, mayor of Ridgeland in Jasper County, says the spat could scuttle the entire project.

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