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The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has awarded a $134.5 million contract to the Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Company to begin dredging work for the expansion of the Savannah Harbor.The project, known as the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project (SHEP), involves deepening the harbor to 47 feet, and it's intended to enable larger container ships to use the harbor."This award is a very significant part of deepening the Savannah Harbor," Col. Tom Tickner, Savannah district commander, said in a statement. "About half of the channel dredging for SHEP is incorporated into this one contract. The 47-foot depth is a forthcoming reality and we are well on our way to putting a critical piece of transportation infrastructure in place that will benefit not only the southeast, but the entire nation."The expansion project is slated to lower transportation costs and bring in a net benefit of $174 million each year to U.S. consumers, Corps officials said in a statement.SHEP earned a $266 million investment from the state of Georgia in March of last year.