Charleston deepening project allocated $41M

The S.C. Ports Authority has been allocated $41.1 million in federal funds to continue dredging work in the Charleston Harbor deepening project, which will yield the deepest harbor on the East Coast.

The Army Corps of Engineers set the money aside in its Fiscal Year 19 Work Plan. The next opportunity for funding will be through President Donald Trump’s budget in the first quarter of 2019.

The S.C. Ports Authority is in the midst of deepening Charleston Harbor from 45 feet to 52 feet. Port CEO Jim Newsome has said an additional 7-foot depth will give the Port of Charleston a competitive advantage to attract and handle the bigger ships being deployed by ocean carriers. Federal funding is crucial to completing the project by 2021, Newsome has said.

The overall cost of deepening the harbor and surrounding Wando and Cooper river channels is currently $558 million, according to the ports authority. The federal government and the state share the cost.

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