Obama signs law to allow Savannah port deepening

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President Obama signed a $12.3 billion water projects bill Tuesday, financing improvements ranging from a harbor expansion in Boston to flood control in Iowa and North Dakota. With the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014, the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project is authorized to begin construction.

As more of the world’s cargo moves on larger ships, the nation’s ports must be ready to accept them, the president said.

“This bill will create jobs and strengthen our national infrastructure,” Obama said. “It will allow the deepening of the harbors in Boston and at the Port of Savannah. These projects can now move forward.”

The next step calls for Georgia to enter a Project Partnership Agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, defining how the costs of the project estimated at $706 million will be shared between the state and federal government.

Georgia Ports Authority Executive Director Curtis Foltz said he expects to have a binding agreement within 90 days, allowing accelerated use of Georgia’s portion of the funding. These funds will be credited against the state’s ultimate cost share at the end of construction.

“The harbor deepening is recognized across Georgia as the state’s most important infrastructure project in terms of future economic development,” state ports authority board Chairman Robert Jepson said. “Because Gov. Nathan Deal and the General Assembly had the foresight to set aside $266 million toward construction, we will be able to start the project this year using state funds.”

34 PROJECTS AUTHORIZED

President Barack Obama on Tuesday signed the Water Resources Reform and Development Act, authorizing 34 water projects across the country at a total cost of $12.3 billion over the next 10 years. The projects are:

NAVIGATION

Sabine Neches Waterway, Texas and Louisiana, $748 million.

Jacksonville Harbor, Mile Point, Jacksonville, Florida, $27.8 million.

Savannah Harbor, Savannah, Georgia, $492 million.

Freeport Harbor, Freeport, Texas, $121 million.

Canaveral Harbor, Cape Canaveral, Florida, $29.2 million.

Boston Harbor, Boston, Massachusetts, $216.4 million.

Lake Worth Inlet, Palm Beach County, Florida, $57.5 million.

Jacksonville Harbor, Jacksonville, Florida., $362 million.

FLOOD-RISK MANAGEMENT

Topeka, Kansas, $17.3 million.

Natomas Basin, California, $760.6 million.

Cedar Rapids, Iowa, $73.1 million.

Fargo, North Dakota, and Moorhead, Minnesota, $846.7 million.

Ohio River Shoreline, Paducah, Kentucky, $13.1 million.

Springfield, Missouri, $13.5 million.

San Joaquin River Basin, California, $23.6 million.

Sutter Basin, California, $255.2 million.

Truckee Meadows, Nevada, $181.6 million.

HURRICANE AND STORM DAMAGE RISK REDUCTION

West Onslow Beach and New River Inlet, North Carolina, $99 million.

Surf City and North Topsail Beach, North Carolina, $206 million.

San Clemente shoreline, California, $51 million.

Walton County, Florida, $42 million.

Morganza to the Gulf, Louisiana, $6.6 billion.

HURRICANE AND STORM DAMAGE RISK REDUCTION AND ENVIRNOMENTAL RESTORATION

Mississippi Coastal Improvement Program, Hannock, Harrison and Jackson counties, Mississippi, $693.3 million.

ENVIRONMENTAL RESTORATION

Mid-Chesapeake Bay Island, Maryland, $1.2 billion.

Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan, Caloosahatchee River, Florida, $313.3 million.

Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan, Canal Western Project, Florida, $87.2 million.

Louisiana Coastal Area, Louisiana, $1 billion.

Marsh Lake, Minnesota, $6.7 million.

Biscayne Bay Coastal Wetland, Florida, $98.5 million.

Broward County Water Preserve Area, Florida, $448 million.

Barataria Basin Barrier, Louisiana, $321.7 million.

Neuse River Basin, North Carolina, $23.8 million.

Lynhaven River, Virginia, $22.8 million.

Willamette River Floodplain, Oregon, $27.4 million.

- Associated Press

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OJP
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OJP 06/10/14 - 02:32 pm
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Great news!

Now let's get the interstate build between Savannah and Augusta.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 06/10/14 - 04:40 pm
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What the Deepening Means

I just drove to Savannah and couldn't agree with you more. OJP.

As far as deepening Savannah Harbor, keep in mind that increases salt water intrusion and means adequate flows from Clark Hill must be maintained.

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