The Charleston Harbor Deepening Project will receive USD 49 million in federal funding, that will be coupled with financial support from the State of South Carolina to further the progress of deepening the Charleston Harbor to 52 feet.
“This funding is great news for continued construction activities and timely awarding of dredging contracts for the Charleston Harbor Deepening Project,” said Bill Stern, SCPA Board Chair.
Construction to deepen the Charleston Harbor Entrance Channel began in February following the awarding of the first two dredging contracts, totaling USD 260 million, by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE).
“The Southeast needs a 52-foot harbor to efficiently handle the large container ships now calling the East Coast. There are four other harbors on our coast at 50 feet of depth, and such large container ships call a network of ports,” said Jim Newsome, SCPA president and CEO.
The USACE Work Plan funding, in combination with a USD 50 million loan from the State, will enable the Charleston Harbor to be deepened to the Wando Welch Terminal by early 2021 in a record construction period of only 40 months.
The completion of harbor deepening projects is essential, with multiple 14,000 twenty-foot equivalent container unit (TEU) ship slings calling U.S. East Coast ports today and the strong likelihood that an 18,000 TEU ship service will be deployed by 2019.