Gov. Nathan Deal is in Panama touring the major expansion underway of the Panama Canal and says the project there underscores the need for the Port of Savannah to deepen its shipping channel. Deal returns to Georgia on Tuesday.
US Army Under Secretary Joseph Westfal became the latest Obama administration official to voice support for a plan to deepen the port of Savannah yesterday. Westfal toured the port on a two-day trip to the the Georgia coast.
A Georgia congressman says he expects the U.S. House to take action this fall to eliminate a bureaucratic obstacle to deepening the shipping channel to the Port of Savannah. Democratic Rep. John Barrow of Augusta visited the port Wednesday and said he expects a committee to take up a bill removing the barrier by early October.
Jasper County officials are threatening to take over the Jasper Ocean Terminal project. They complain that the effort, overseen jointly by Georgia and South Carolina, is mired in never-ending studies. South Carolina officials say progress is being made.
A water projects bill approved by the U.S. Senate contains a provision that would remove a bureaucratic obstacle to deepening the Savannah harbor. Georgia Sens. Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss both praised passage Wednesday of the new Water Resources Development Act, which still needs approval by the House. The bill would remove a spending cap of $459 million placed on the harbor deepening project in 1999. The Army Corps of Engineers now estimates the project will cost $652 million.