Deepening work is well underway with all five dredging contracts awarded, putting the project on track for a 2022 completion.
In fall 2017, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Charleston District awarded the first two construction contracts of $47 million and $214 million to Great Lakes Dredging Co. to deepen the Entrance Channel to 54 feet. Dredging work began in February 2018.
In August 2019, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Charleston District awarded the third dredging construction contract of $124 million to Norfolk Dredging Co. This will create a 52-foot depth from the Lower Harbor up Wando River to Wando Welch Terminal. Work also involves widening the turning basin of the Wando River from 1,400 feet to 1,650 feet, allowing two 14,000-TEU-and-above ships to easily pass one another and turn around near the Wando Welch Terminal without restrictions.
In September 2020, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Charleston District awarded the fourth and fifth dredging construction contracts.
The fourth contract of $53 million was awarded to Great Lakes Dredging Co. This will create a 52-foot depth from the Lower Harbor up the Cooper River to the Hugh K. Leatherman Terminal in North Charleston, enabling 20,000-TEU vessels to access SC Ports’ state-of-the-art container terminal.
The fifth and final contract of $32 million was awarded to Marinex Construction Inc. This will create a 48-foot depth from the Leatherman Terminal up the Cooper River to the North Charleston Terminal, which is slated for completion in 2022.
In May 2021, project partners achieved a major milestone when a 52-foot depth was reached in front of Wando Welch Terminal.