Port expansion project ahead of schedule - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Port expansion project ahead of schedule


The project to expand the Savannah Harbor may begin sooner than expected.

Plans to deepen the harbor could now start as early as next month, three months ahead of schedule.

A number of factors are at play here, one of those is the nearly $100 million dollar contract from the Army Corps of Engineers. That contract is to install an oxygen injection system along the river.

This comes as other parts of the project are gaining momentum as well. The recovery effort to bring up the armored sides of the CSS Georgia began over the weekend. The Confederate ship has been sitting 40 feet below the river's surface since the Civil War, but it's in the way of where crews need to begin dredging.

"I wish it was done years ago, so we can't get it done quickly enough. Not for me, but for our customers, for trade and commerce, for the jobs that it all means, our friends in the ILA (International Longshoreman’s Association). We've just got to get it done sooner rather than later,” Executive Director Curtis Foltz, Georgia Ports Authority, said.

The deepening of the harbor to 47 feet will allow larger container ships to enter the harbor more easily as well as carry heavier cargos.

Federal government studies show the project will result in about $170 million dollars in NET savings per year. That factors in the cost of the project.

They expect the project to take about 4 years to complete.

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