Charleston Harbor Deepening Project Fully Funded

Credit: SCPA
Credit: SCPA

Published Dec 26, 2019 7:33 PM by The Maritime Executive

The Charleston Harbor Deepening Project reached a milestone on December 20 with President Donald Trump signing the FY2020 Energy and Water Appropriations bill into law, officially green-lighting $138 million for the Charleston Harbor Deepening Project.
Trump included the $138 million in the President’s Fiscal Year 2020 budget earlier this year, making the project eligible for direct appropriations by Congress for the first time through the Energy and Water Appropriations bill.

The project is now fully funded to completion and on track to achieve a 52-foot depth in 2021.
The 52-foot deep harbor will accommodate 19,000-TEU vessels drafting 50 feet or more without navigation or tidal restrictions.

In 2012, the S.C. General Assembly set aside $300 million, the full estimated state share of the deepening construction costs. The project also previously secured $108 million in federal appropriations from the Army Corps of Engineers’ work plans, as well as an additional $50 million loan from the state. Construction began in early 2018.

Work is ongoing to deepen the Entrance Channel to 54 feet, deepen a stretch from the Lower Harbor up to Wando Welch Terminal to 52 feet and widen the turning basin of the Wando River from 1,400 feet to 1,650 feet.

The next contract will achieve a 52-foot depth from Charleston Harbor up the Cooper River to the future Hugh K. Leatherman Sr. Terminal in North Charleston, set to open in 2021. The new Leatherman terminal will double port capacity at full build-out.