The Charleston Harbor deepening project, better known as Post-45, began with a Congressional add to the President’s fiscal year 2010 budget allowing the Charleston District to complete a reconnaissance study.
The reconnaissance report demonstrated that a large percentage of the vessels currently using Charleston Harbor are tide-restricted and concluded that there was federal interest in performing a feasibility study to determine what future depth of the harbor can best reduce transportation inefficiencies and provide the most benefit to the nation.
Since 2006, the average per-vessel tonnage has increased by about 25 percent for all vessels and by about 27 percent for the deepest drafting vessels.
This large shift in vessel size was not anticipated in the last feasibility study (1996), which resulted in a recommendation at that time to deepen the federal channels from 40 feet to the currently authorized and maintained 45 foot depth.
In 2011, the Charleston District began the multi-year feasibility study to determine if deepening Charleston Harbor is both economically beneficial and environmentally acceptable to the nation.
The study is cost-shared 50-50 between the Charleston District and the project’s sponsor, the South Carolina State Ports Authority, and conducted by the Charleston District.
October 8, 2014