Senators Urge Obama to Fund Savannah Harbor (USA)
U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA), and U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston (GA-1) strongly urged President Obama in a letter to fulfill his “We Can’t Wait” promise and include legislative language for the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project (SHEP) authorization increase in his budget amendment to Congress.
Chambliss, Isakson and Kingston reminded the president that during his presidential campaign last July, he “illustrated understanding of the outstanding benefits this project provides.” The president listed the Port of Savannah as one of five “We Can’t Wait” projects.
“We are disappointed that your support for this vital project has seemingly waned this year,” the lawmakers continue. “With the forthcoming expansion of the Panama Canal, additional U.S. ports capable of receiving Post-Panamax ships are critical for the economic wellbeing and competitiveness of our nation. This is a vital project for Georgia, for the Southeast, and for the nation.”
The Savannah Harbor Expansion Project was authorized in the Water Resources and Development Act of 1999 to deepen the Savannah River from its current 42-foot depth to as much as 48 feet. The project is being undertaken in anticipation of an expansion of the Panama Canal that will increase the maximum draft of vessels travelling to and from the East Coast from 39.5 feet to as much as 50 feet.
According to the Army Corps of Engineers, it will bring more than $115 million in annual economic benefit to the United States, primarily through reducing costs associated with transportation.
Press Release, May 2, 2013