eNews • March 6, 2015
Promoting a Cost-Effective, Reliable and Competitive Transportation System

Savannah harbor dredging now ready to begin

The Georgia Ports Authority said deepening the Savannah harbor is now ready to proceed after the Army Corps of Engineers today awarded a $134.5 million contract to Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Co.

The contract covers deepening the outer harbor to 47 feet for 18.5 miles into the Atlantic Ocean from Fort Pulaski.

Dredging the outer harbor is the first step to deepening the entire 40-mile shipping channel and harbor from the ocean to Savannah's Garden City terminal.

The deepening, officially known as the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project, or SHEP, will allow larger containerships to call on Savannah with greater ease, heavier cargoes and fewer tidal restraints than they currently experience. The Corps of Engineers partnered with the State of Georgia for the project.

"After 16 years of study, it is gratifying to know that we can now move forward with the deepening of the Savannah River," said Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal in a statement. "Today's announcement has been made possible, in part, by the state's $266 million investment into the port's expansion. This crucial advancement in our logistics network will aid the prompt delivery of valuable cargo, preserving and creating economic opportunity across Georgia and the Southeast."

"The harbor deepening, which begins in earnest with this contract, supports long-term economic viability and growth for our state and nation," added GPA Executive Director Curtis Foltz.

The construction phase for SHEP began in January when divers started recovering artifacts from the CSS Georgia ironclad, resting next to the shipping channel near Old Fort Jackson.

The start of the outer harbor dredging could begin soon. The outer harbor contract sets overall production goals, but grants Great Lakes Dredge and Dock discretion on scheduling, how and when to mobilize, and kinds of equipment to be used.

These variables influence when a contractor actually begins dredging, the port authority said.

Source: American Shipper


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