The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced yesterday $41.4 million for the Charleston Harbor Deepening Project in the Fiscal Year 19 Work Plan, funds that will further the progress of deepening the Charleston Harbor to 52 feet.
“This funding is tremendous for the continued construction activities for the Charleston Harbor Deepening Project,” said Bill Stern, SCPA Board Chair. “The unanimous support across all levels of government is greatly appreciated and has been critical in keeping this project moving at every turn.”
Construction to deepen the Charleston Harbor Entrance Channel began in February following the awarding of the first two dredging contracts, totaling approximately $300 million, by USACE.
“By 2021, the Port will achieve 52 feet of depth making it the deepest harbor on the East Coast, an advantage that will add significant capability in the Southeast, the fastest growing region in the country,” said Jim Newsome, SCPA president and CEO. “This depth advantage is vitally important for significant long-term volume growth and the deployment of large container ships. We are very grateful for the dedication and hard work by many to keep this project moving forward at record speed.”
Upon completion of Charleston’s deepening, the Inner Harbor will offer 52 feet of depth with a 54-feet Entrance Channel.
The USACE Work Plan funding brings the total federal funding to $108 million. The state of South Carolina has set aside a total of $350 million towards the project, including a $50 million loan earlier this year.
Last month, the Army Corps completed an updated Benefit Cost Ratio (BCR) of 3.1, which meets requirements for inclusion in the President’s Budget. The project was designated a “new construction start” in the USACE FY 2017 Work Plan, and was authorized by Congress in December of 2016.