The US Army Corps of Engineers Civil Works Review Board (CWRB) unanimously approved the Final Integrated Feasibility Report and Environmental Impact Statement for the Charleston Post-45 Harbor Deepening project, ensuring that the project is on schedule to receive its Chief’s Report this September.
The final report has been approved for release for a 30-day review period for state and resource agencies. The Chief’s Report is expected to be signed in September and then transmitted to Congress, with construction to begin following the Preconstruction, Engineering and Design Phase.
Efforts to deepen the Charleston harbor began in 2011 in order to provide the depth necessary to handle post-Panamax vessel calls without tidal restriction.
The expansion of the Panama Canal and the raising of the Bayonne Bridge in NJ are expected to significantly increase the size of cargo vessels deployed to East Coast ports, making deepwater a requirement for modern ports. Charleston currently receives 11 post-Panamax vessel calls weekly.
”Today’s approval by the Civil Works Review Board allows our harbor deepening project to progress without delay,” said Jim Newsome, SCPA president and CEO.
”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.”