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Monday, March 28, 2011 - 12:34pm

Harbor Project Delay Until 2016

Updated: 3 years ago.
Deepening the Savannah harbor is an incredibly complex process. But the delays are now pushing the project much later than ports officials originally wanted. (photo Georgia Ports Authority)

An official with the US Army Corp of Engineers says, it now will be at least 2016 before the Savannah harbor deepening project can be completed.

And the Corp's Savannah District Commander, Colonel Jeff Hall says, that's "if" final approval and funding come next year.

Corp of Engineers spokesman Billy Birdwell says, the agency's process is moving along at the appropriate speed.

"Each step takes a certain amount of time, whether we're evaluating comments, writing the final report, reaching a consensus with the other federal agencies, issuing a decision, seeking and gaining appropriations and then dredging," says Birdwell.

The $500 million project can't come soon enough for Georgia ports officials.

They wanted the deepening completed before Panama completes a canal expansion in 2014.

Any delays, they say, could hurt Georgia business and trade.

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