Charleston, SC — Dec. 3, 2001 – The United States Congress recently appropriated $500,000 to study the deepening of Charleston harbor beyond 45 feet (13.7 meters).
“This evaluation is critical to determining Charleston’s channel requirements,” said Bernard S. Groseclose Jr., president and CEO of the South Carolina State Ports Authority.
The announcement comes as the 45-foot Charleston Harbor Deepening & Widening Project that was approved in 1996 approaches completion.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is more than two-thirds complete with the work to deepen Charleston’s inner harbor to -45 feet (13.7 meters) at mean low water and the entrance channel to -47 feet (14.3 meters) MLW. The inner harbor was -40 feet (12.2 meters) and the entrance channel -42 feet (12.8 meters).
Channels to the Wando Welch and Columbus Street Terminals are complete. The upper reaches of the Cooper River to the North Charleston Terminal will be awarded next year and completed in 2004.
The upcoming study will look at the feasibility and benefit-cost ratio of deepening certain shipping channels beyond 45 feet.
The Port of Charleston handled 1.6 million TEUs last year, making it the largest container port in the Southeast U.S. and one of the nation’s busiest seaports.