$138M Allocated for Charleston Harbor

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

March 15, 2019

Image: South Carolina Ports Authority

Image: South Carolina Ports Authority

President Donald Trump included $138 million in his budget for the coming year to help deepen Charleston Harbor to 52 feet so it can handle larger container ships, said Charleston District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The project, in the works since 2011, had never been included in a president’s budget until now. The U.S. Army Corps last year revised a formula that measures the project’s economic benefit, putting it above the threshold needed for consideration.

The Charleston Harbor Post 45 Deepening Project will make transportation more efficient within the harbor by allowing neo-Panamax ships to come into the port without restrictions.

Inclusion in the President’s Budget makes the Charleston Harbor Deepening Project eligible for direct appropriations by Congress through the Energy and Water Appropriations Bill this year.

“The Charleston Harbor Deepening Project is a strategic priority for South Carolina, and it will be a driver of economic development across our state and region well into the future,” said Jim Newsome, SCPA president and CEO.

“By 2021 SCPA and the state will have invested more than $2 billion in port infrastructure to support the booming growth of both population and manufacturing in the region. Our deepening project answers the need for a Southeastern port to handle 14,000 to 18,000 twenty-foot equivalent container unit (TEU) vessels drafting 50 feet or more without significant depth and other navigation restrictions,” Jim said.

Construction work began on the Charleston Harbor Entrance Channel in February 2018 following the awarding of the first two dredging contracts, totaling $260 million, by USACE. Deepening the harbor up to SCPA’s busiest container terminal, the Wando Welch, is expected by early 2021 in what will be a record construction period of only 40 months.

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