The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has announced that it will grant US$41.4 million to the Charleston Harbour Deepening Project, as part of the Fiscal Year 19 Work Plan.
According to a statement, the extra funding will further the progress of deepening the Charleston Harbour to 52 feet.
Construction on the project began in February 2018, following the awarding of two dredging contracts, worth $300 million, by USACE.
The completion of harbour deepening projects has been described by the South Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA) as essential, with multiple 14,000 TEU ships currently calling at east coast ports in the US.
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To fill these large container vessels with heavy export cargo, harbours of 50 feet or more in draft are required to remove navigation restrictions.
Upon the completion of Charleston’s deepening project, the Inner Harbour will offer 52 feet of depth with a 54-foot Entrance Channel.
Bill Stern, SCPA Board Chair, commented: “Today’s funding news is tremendous for the continued construction activities for the Charleston Harbor Deepening Project.
“The port is grateful to the Trump Administration, Senator Graham, Governor McMaster, and the entire South Carolina Congressional Delegation for the continued support and tireless efforts to again ensure the highest funding possible was included in the Work Plan.”
The Port of Charleston supports thousands of business and jobs across our great state — in fact, 1 out of every 11 jobs in the Palmetto State is port-related. I look forward to continuing to advocate for one of our most integral job producers in South Carolina. https://t.co/q6l0mJcXKE
— Tim Scott (@SenatorTimScott) November 21, 2018
Jim Newsome, SCPA President and CEO, also said: “By 2021, the Port will achieve 52 feet of depth making it the deepest harbour on the East Coast, an advantage that will add significant capability in the Southeast, the fastest growing region in the country.
“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.”
The state of South Carolina has set aside a total of $350 million towards the project, including a $50 million loan earlier this year.