The Savannah River entrance channel deepening is approximately 60 percent complete, Griffith V. Lynch, the executive director of the Georgia Ports Authority (GPA), said in the latest project update.
In the near future, this portion of the project will benefit ship traffic by opening a wider tidal window and greater scheduling flexibility for neo-Panamax vessels.
At present, the Port of Savannah is serving vessels up to 10,700 TEUs, and is expected to handle a 13,000 TEU vessel in May.
“We are working closely with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, our elected officials in Washington, and Gov. Nathan Deal’s office to ensure that the appropriate funding is in place to complete the Savannah Harbor deepening in a timely manner,” said Lynch.
Although the estimated cost of the project has recently increased to $973 million, the Corps has also released new benefit projections. The benefit to cost ratio of the project has significantly increased from 5.5:1, to 7.3:1 – one of the largest returns on investment on a navigation project for taxpayers in the country.
- Contribution to striped bass stocking program – Complete:
- Purchase 2,245 acres wetlands for SNWR mitigation – Complete;
- Remove CSS Georgia – 80% Complete;
- Deepen Entrance Channel to 49 feet; extend 7 miles – 55% Complete;
- Construct DO injection systems – 28% Complete;
- Construct Raw Water Storage Impoundment – 65% Complete;
- Raise disposal area dikes – 64% Complete;
- SB I: Remove Tide Gates, Abutments – 48% Complete.