The Charleston Harbor deepening project is another step closer to fruition after the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Water Resources Development Act this week. Differences between the House version and what senators approved earlier this month must now be worked out before it can go to President Obama for his signature.
South Carolina Ports Authority leaders applauded the state’s congressional delegation for working to get the federal bill passed. “Passage of this bill by the House represents another hurdle cleared for Charleston Harbor Deepening,” said SCPA Board Chairman Pat McKinney. “We are deeply appreciative of our entire delegation’s efforts. This milestone is the result of years of hard work and ensures our Port’s world-class deepening project remains on track.”
The project was formally recommended for Congressional authorization in January with the issuance of the Record of Decision by the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works).
The project has moved expeditiously through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers SMART Planning process and received strong support by all levels of government. In 2012 the S.C. General Assembly set aside $300 million for the state share of the project, and it was expedited by the Administration as a “We Can’t Wait” initiative.
Upon completion, the project will deepen the Charleston Harbor to 54 feet at the entrance channel and 52 feet in the harbor to handle larger next-generation container vessels already arriving at the port.