The Georgia state legislature approved an additional $35 million for the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project, according to the Georgia Ports Authority.
The additional funds were proposed by Gov. Nathan Deal (R), and the authorization now awaits his signature. With the added funds, the state has allocated $266 million for the project.
The venture will deepen the port to 47 feet from 42 feet to accommodate an increase in the number of supersize container ships after the Panama Canal expansion expected to be completed in 2015, according to the ports authority.
“The $266 million in state funding for SHEP is enough to allow significant progress on the project, including environmental improvements such as rerouting freshwater flows and improvements to the outer harbor,” GPA Executive Director Curtis Foltz said in a statement. “Besides deepening the channel, the harbor expansion will also include general navigation improvements such as wider channel turns and a larger turning basin.”
With a deeper channel, larger and more heavily laden ships can arrive and depart with greater scheduling flexibility, according to GPA.