Published July 2, 2012
The General Assembly passed a budget proposal last week to tag $300 million to deepen the Charleston Harbor.
The $300 million covers the project’s entire estimated cost.
“This level of commitment instills a great deal of confidence in our customers and shows that the Port of Charleston is ready and able to meet their long-term growth needs,” said Jim Newsome, president and CEO of the S.C. State Ports Authority, in a news release. “We have a good partner in the (Army) Corps of Engineers, and we will continue our productive collaboration to deliver a true post-Panamax harbor in the south Atlantic as quickly as possible.”
The fund will be used to pay for the construction of the harbor deepening. The state pays for 60% of construction, which is expected to cost roughly $180 million. The extra $120 million in the fund can be used to cover the federal share of the project, and the state can be reimbursed. The Joint Bond Review Committee must approve fund expenditures.
The project is now in the feasibility study phase, which is expected to take between five and eight years. The Army Corps of Engineers is studying deepening the harbor beyond its current level of 45 feet.