On Wednesday, House Bill 5303, The Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2016, passed in the U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 399-25, moving the Charleston Harbor Deepening Project closer to fruition.
“We applaud the House of Representatives for making this critical legislation a priority before the lame duck session,” Jim Newsome, South Carolina Ports Authority President and CEO, said. “The entire South Carolina delegation has worked diligently to ensure the bill moves forward in order to enable the project to begin construction next year. Thanks to their support, we are well-positioned to be the deepest harbor on the East Coast by the end of the decade.”
The project was formally recommended for Congressional authorization in January by the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works). The project is intended to deepen the Charleston Harbor to 54 feet at the entrance channel and 52 feet in the harbor.
A conference committee will now be formed to work through the differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill.
“Today’s action in the House is tremendous news, and I congratulate our delegation for their tireless efforts on behalf of the Port and the entire state,” State Sen. Larry Grooms (R-Dist. 37) said.
The Port currently supports 187,200 jobs statewide and generates almost $53 billion in annual economic activity.