Progress of the Charleston Harbor Deepening Project will remain on track with $49 million awarded in the Army Corps FY18 Work Plan.
According to the South Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA), the critical funds that will be coupled with financial support from the State of South Carolina will further secure the progress of deepening the Charleston Harbor to 52 feet.
“This funding is great news for continued construction activities and timely awarding of dredging contracts for the Charleston Harbor Deepening Project,” said Bill Stern, SCPA Board Chair.
Construction to deepen the Charleston Harbor Entrance Channel began in February following the awarding of the first two dredging contracts, totaling $260 million, by USACE.
“The deepening of the Charleston Harbor is one of the most important strategic priorities for the State of South Carolina,” said Jim Newsome, SCPA president and CEO. “The Southeast needs a 52-foot harbor to efficiently handle the large container ships now calling the East Coast. There are four other harbors on our coast at 50 feet of depth, and such large container ships call a network of ports.”
The USACE Work Plan funding, in combination with a $50 million loan from the State, will enable the Charleston Harbor to be deepened to the Wando Welch Terminal by early 2021 in a record construction period of only 40 months. Upon completion of Charleston’s deepening, the Inner Harbor will offer 52 feet of depth with a 54-feet deep Entrance Channel.
The project was designated a “New Construction Start” in the USACE Work Plan last year and received Congressional Authorization in December 2016.