A project partnership agreement (PPA) has been signed by the US Army Corps of Engineers, the Georgia Department of Transportation and the Georgia Ports Authority, allowing construction on the Savannah harbour expansion project to finally begin.
The US Army Corps of Engineers expects the harbour deepening project to bring US$174 million in annual net benefits to the US, according to Dredging Today.
The extra five feet of depth provided by the expansion will allow for an additional 3,600 cargo containers in each transit, thereby supporting Post-Panamax II vessels.
Savannah district commander colonel Thomas Tickner said: “The signing of the PPA marks the starting point for construction on the Savannah harbour expansion project. This sets us on the path to improving transportation of goods into and out of this harbour in an environmentally sensitive manner, which will benefit the area, the region and the nation.”
The project will cost approximately US$706 million, including construction and environmental mitigation costs.
As part of a cost-sharing agreement, the Corps will be able to use the 40% share of state funds to begin construction while it awaits congressional appropriations for the remaining 60% of federal funding.
The state has set aside US$266 million – the total state share for the project.
Competitive bidding contracts have been released by the US Army Corps of Engineers for early actions to deepen the harbour.