Harbor deepening ranks high on top 100 infrastructure projects - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Harbor deepening ranks high on list of top 100 U.S. infrastructure projects

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

The Georgia Ports' harbor deepening project ranked high on CG/LA'a list of the 100 infrastructure projects that would most help the U.S. regain its competitiveness.

The projects' benefits were recognized Wednesday by the Under Secretary of the Army. The Honorable Joseph W. Westphal toured of the Port of Savannah to see operations that would benefit from the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project.

The study findings, conducted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, concluded that the harbor deepening is in the best interest of the U.S. with a huge economic return.

The $652 million project would deepen the harbor from 42 feet to 47 feet. It will allow larger ships to move through at a lower cost. It's expected to bring more than $174 million in annual net benefits to the U.S.

"It's significant. It's very large. It increases not only our tax base, so as a government we benefit from it. But it also increases the ability for our consumers to have access to products and markets. It increases our trade deficits where we have them with certain countries," Westphal said. 

Basically for each dollar invested into the project, the nation will see 5.50 cents in return, according to the study data.

"The $174 million we will be saving each year will be nationwide, and since all the tax payers in America are paying for this project, all the tax payers in America will benefit from this port," said Billy Birdwell, public affairs for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Savannah. 

The next step to move the project forward is to get Congress to agree to the funding that is necessary. 

To view CG/LA's annual list of the top infrastructure projects, click here.   

Copyright 2013 WTOC. All rights reserved.

Port of Savannah Harbor Expansion Project

Updated:

See the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers final report on the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project. More>>

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