The ongoing effort to deepen Charleston Harbor so it can handle larger cargo ships could get more money in the future.
The Post and Courier reports the Army Corps of Engineers has reworked a formula used in the federal budget process. The new formula is more beneficial to projects such as Charleston.
The State Ports Authority said that the recalculation puts the Port of Charleston’s $558 million deepening project above the threshold needed to be included in the president’s annual budget.
Before the recalculation, the project only qualified for annual funding in the Corps’ work plan. The higher number means it now qualifies for two budget appropriations each year.
The Corps of Engineers began dredging the harbor’s navigation channel earlier this year from 46 feet down to 52 feet. The deeper channel is meant to handle the growing number of new larger container ships that can carry up to 14,000 containers at once. Currently, such vessels have to wait until high tide to enter the harbor.