Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company (GLDD), the largest provider of dredging services in the United States, today confirmed that it has won a $134.5 million contract to deepen the Savannah Harbor federal shipping channel.
As previously said, the project involves dredging of the entrance channel to a depth of 47 feet and represents the first step in deepening the 40 mile long shipping channel and harbor.
It is part of the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project (SHEP), a major port improvement project with an estimated cost of $706 million, of which the State of Georgia has committed $266 million. GLDD is planning to use a mix of cutter suction and hopper dredges to perform the work.
Similar to the PortMiami deepening project that is on schedule to be completed this year, deepening the Port of Savannah will enable the port to accommodate the next generation post-Panamax vessels that will transport cargo through the expanded Panama Canal once completed in 2016.
Great Lakes’ President of Dredging, David Simonelli stated, “We look forward to partnering with the U.S. Army Corps’ Savannah District, the Georgia Ports Authority and the local community on this monumental project. As always, we will be committed to the safety of the public and our crew, as well as protecting the surrounding environment and marine habitat, while we deepen the shipping channel.”
Jonathan Berger, Chief Executive Officer, added, “As the Panama Canal deepening continues to progress, it is critical for U.S. ports along the Eastern Seaboard and Gulf Coast to accommodate post-Panamax vessels. With its significant investment in the SHEP, the state of Georgia clearly appreciates the economic implications that this improvement to its infrastructure will have. The economic impact of the port deepening stretches far beyond Savannah or Georgia – it will be beneficial to the entire nation.”
Dredging operations are expected to commence later this year and be completed by summer 2018.