Charleston Harbor deepening plan clears federal hurdle

Late last week in Washington, D.C., the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Civil Works Review Board (CWRB) unanimously approved a Final Integrated Feasibility Report and Environmental Impact Statement for the Charleston Post 45 Harbor Deepening project.

“Approval by the Civil Works Review Board allows our harbor-deepening project to progress without delay,” Jim Newsome, the South Carolina Port Authority's (SCPA) president and CEO, said. “Once deepening to 52 feet is realized, Charleston will offer the deepest harbor on the East Coast, with the capability to serve fully loaded post-Panamax vessels 24 hours a day. Our deepening project, coupled with significant SCPA investments (in) infrastructure and terminal capacity, support SCPA cargo volume growth more than twice the national port average. We are fortunate to have great partners in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, whose collective expertise and commitment was demonstrated.”

After a 30-day review period, during which state and local resource agencies can peruse the final report, it will be sent to Congress. After that, the pre-construction, engineering and design phase will commence, followed by construction.

“A competitive, growing port brings tremendous economic benefits to our state and our region,” SCPA Board Chairman Bill Stern said. “Recognizing the importance of the deepening project to our port, elected officials from all levels of government, as well as the business community and the public, are united in their support of 52 feet. South Carolina, the Southeastern region and our nation will enjoy the positive impacts of the Charleston harbor deepening for years to come.”

Efforts to deepen Charleston Harbor began in 2011. For more information, visit

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