Savannah harbor project to affect Augusta

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After years of research and study, the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project is getting closer to becoming a reality.

Jamie McCurry, director of administration for the Georgia Ports Authority, addressed a group of CSRA leaders in a luncheon hosted by Augusta Tomorrow, Inc. detailing the expansion project and how it will affect the Augusta area.

“This region is one of the primary beneficiaries,” McCurry said.

The expansion project started in 1996 to deepen the Savannah Harbor from its current depth of 42 feet up to a maximum depth of 48 feet. This will allow larger ships to pass in and out of the harbor, increasing the volume of trade.

The Panama Canal is also currently expanding, making the Savannah Harbor project even more important, McCurry said.

“We need this in the South Atlantic, we need this for the state of Georgia, but we need this as a nation as well,” he said of the economic increase.

Although Savannah is the fourth largest port by container volume in the United States, contributing 8.6 percent of total U.S. container-based trade, it is the shallowest major port in the world.

Richard Fairey, vice president of Augusta Tomorrow, emphasized to the group how important it was for the CSRA to get behind the expansion project now in order to get in on the growth for years to come.

“We need to be asking, how can Augusta and the CSRA be involved in this? We want to be involved,” he said.

The Panama Canal expansion will be completed by 2014, but McCurry said he predicts the Savannah Harbor project will be completed at the earliest by 2016.

“It’s past time for this to happen,” he said.

Reach Gracie Shepherd at (706) 724-0851 or gracie.shepherd@gmail.com

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Sweet son
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Sweet son 04/29/11 - 02:32 pm
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I missed something! Where

I missed something! Where were the details on how the project will affect Augusta? I see some trains passing through with containers. Maybe this is the plus. I suspect that most of the trucked containers head up I 16 towards Atlanta or maybe to intersect I 95 and travel North and South. Just hope the feds are paying for most of the dredging.

angedelune
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angedelune 04/29/11 - 04:38 pm
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what we really need is a

what we really need is a four-lane from Augusta directly to Savannah, and one directly into Macon. To get to either place you basically have to go back roads if you want a straight shot to either. This would increase both visitors and trade.

Pu239
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Pu239 04/29/11 - 08:16 pm
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angedelune, been to Savannah
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angedelune, been to Savannah lately? There is a 4 lane all the way from Augusta to Savannah. I do agree with you on Macon.

I think that the 800 lb. gorilla in this article is probably the lock and dam removal to appease the environmental lobby.

Looks like Mr. McCurry is setting his PR campaign in motion.

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