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.”