The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is hiring a new civil works chief at a critical time for the Savannah harbor expansion.
Margarett “Mackie” McIntosh says her primary responsibility at first will be managing the harbor deepening project.
She says the Corps is waiting on Congress to finalize the Water Resources Development Act.
"An appropriation would be the next step," McIntosh says. "So we’ve done our piece and now it’s up to Congress to decide whether or not this project is important to the nation."
But McIntosh says it is still possible for dredging to begin in 2014.
"We have certain internal timelines - basically drop-dead dates by which we think we could get some dredging done this year should things fall into place," she says. "But I can’t give you a hard answer on (when)."
President Obama’s latest budget did not include funding for the project. But Governor Nathan Deal wants to move ahead with state funds.
McIntosh currently works in environmental compliance for the Corps. She’s taking over later this month as the Chief of the Civil Works Programs and Project Management Branch for the Corps’ Savannah District. The current chief is retiring.