Deal clears way for deepening of Charleston Harbor

Corps holds meeting on Charleston Harbor deepening (Image 1)

Federal and state officials have signed an agreement that allows for the start of a project to deepen South Carolina’s busiest harbor.

The Army Corps of Engineers and the State Ports Authority signed what is called a project partnership agreement Wednesday over the work on Charleston Harbor.

The document allows the groups to begin work on the more than $500 million project to deepen the harbor by 7 feet (2 meters) to a depth of 52 feet (16 meters).

Port officials say the extra depth is vital to allow Charleston to bring in heavier, larger ships that are becoming more popular in global shipping.

“This agreement marks an important breakthrough for South Carolina’s economic engine and for the future prosperity of our entire state,” said Gov. Henry McMaster.  “Our ports system is one of the greatest assets we have in South Carolina that sets us apart, and with the construction phase of the Charleston Harbor deepening project beginning, the number of opportunities for South Carolinians will continue to grow.”

Officials estimate the project could take anywhere from 3 to 6 years.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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