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Rail News: Intermodal

Savannah harbor deepening reaches halfway mark

Deepening the harbor will enable larger ships to bring heavier loads into the Port of Savannah.
Photo – Gov. Nathan Deal's office


The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has finished outer harbor dredging for the Port of Savannah's harbor deepening project.

Completion of the outer harbor dredging marks the midpoint for the overall expansion project and represents a "crucial milestone," Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal said in a press release.

Deepening the harbor will enable Neo-Panamax vessels — i.e., larger ships passing through the expanded Panama Canal — to bring heavier loads into the port and transit the Savannah River with greater scheduling flexibility.

"The Savannah Harbor Expansion Project is crucial to keep U.S.-made products competitive globally, because the heavier goods require deeper draft to take advantage of cost savings from Neo-Panamax vessels," said Georgia Ports Authority Executive Director Griff Lynch.

The first half of the project deepened the outer harbor to 49 feet at low tide, and 56 feet at high tide. The inner harbor channel will be expanded to 47 feet at low tide and 54 feet at high tide.

A study conducted by the Corps of Engineers estimates that the deepening of the harbor will result in $282 million in transportation savings for shippers and consumers each year, according to Deal's press release.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 3/6/2018