US Army Corps of Engineers
Savannah District Website

Corps of Engineers completes deepening of Savannah harbor’s entrance channel

Published Feb. 28, 2018
The Dredge Padre Island discharges one of the last loads of material dredged from the outer Savannah harbor to mark the end of deepening for the oceanside of the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project (SHEP). The Savannah District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers manages the expansion of the Savannah harbor. The deepening of the outer channel marks another major milestone in the $973 million project to deepen the harbor from 42 feet to 47 feet. Approximately 12 million cubic yards of material were removed to make this portion of the shipping channel deeper. The outer channel deepening was completed ahead of schedule and under budget. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers photo by Billy Birdwell.

The Dredge Padre Island discharges one of the last loads of material dredged from the outer Savannah harbor to mark the end of deepening for the oceanside of the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project (SHEP). The Savannah District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers manages the expansion of the Savannah harbor. The deepening of the outer channel marks another major milestone in the $973 million project to deepen the harbor from 42 feet to 47 feet. Approximately 12 million cubic yards of material were removed to make this portion of the shipping channel deeper. The outer channel deepening was completed ahead of schedule and under budget. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers photo by Billy Birdwell.

The Dredge Padre Island discharges one of the last loads of material dredged from the outer Savannah harbor to mark the end of deepening for the oceanside of the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project (SHEP). The Savannah District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers manages the expansion of the Savannah harbor. The deepening of the outer channel marks another major milestone in the $973 million project to deepen the harbor from 42 feet to 47 feet. Approximately 12 million cubic yards of material were removed to make this portion of the shipping channel deeper. The outer channel deepening was completed ahead of schedule and under budget. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers photo by Billy Birdwell.

The Dredge Padre Island discharges one of the last loads of material dredged from the outer Savannah harbor to mark the end of deepening for the oceanside of the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project (SHEP). The Savannah District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers manages the expansion of the Savannah harbor. The deepening of the outer channel marks another major milestone in the $973 million project to deepen the harbor from 42 feet to 47 feet. Approximately 12 million cubic yards of material were removed to make this portion of the shipping channel deeper. The outer channel deepening was completed ahead of schedule and under budget. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers photo by Billy Birdwell.

SAVANNAH, Ga. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Savannah District, today marked the end of deepening of the outer Savannah harbor. Only final touches remain in this $134 million project to deepen the entrance channel of the harbor and extend it an additional 7 miles into the Atlantic Ocean. 

“The completion of entrance channel dredging is perhaps the most significant milestone to date for the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project,” Col. Marvin Griffin, Commander of the Savannah District, said. “As of today, approximately half of the Savannah harbor’s 40-mile channel is deepened and better equipped to handle post-Panamax vessels. The SHEP has broad national impacts, and with this achievement, we are now halfway to realizing more than $280 million in net annual benefits for the nation.” 

“Reaching the midpoint of the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project is an exciting and critical milestone for not only the project, but for the entire state and nation,” said Representative Earl L. “Buddy” Carter of Georgia’s First Congressional District. “With a return on investment of 7.3 to 1, every step closer to completion is a step closer to realizing the full economic impact this project will have on the nation and the world. I am proud to represent the fastest growing port in the country in the United States Congress, and I will continue to fight to ensure the federal government meets its obligation to this top infrastructure project.” 

The outer harbor deepening began in September 2015 and will end early in March ahead of schedule and under budget. Completing the outer harbor deepening joins other milestones in the quest to deepen the second busiest container port on the East Coast. Removal of the Civil War ironclad CSS Georgia and the removal of the obsolete tide gate on the Savannah River’s back river were the first construction features completed for the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project, or SHEP. 

Completion of this contract demonstrates the SHEP is well on its way toward completion. The deepened harbor will allow larger, neo-Panamax vessels to call on the port with fewer tidal restrictions. The outer harbor now extends from approximately Fort Pulaski to about 20 miles into the Atlantic Ocean. The dredges removed approximately 12 million cubic yards of material during this phase of the deepening. 

Deepening the Savannah harbor will also allow neo-Panamax ships to call on the port with heavier cargo loads. This will lower fuel and transportation costs netting the nation hundreds of millions of dollars per year in savings to the economy. The benefits of the completed SHEP will be $7.30 for each $1 invested in the deepening. 

Later this year, the Corps of Engineers expects to complete construction on two environmental mitigation features of the SHEP. The dissolved oxygen injection system will be completed and testing will begin. In addition a raw water storage impoundment, or small reservoir, for the City of Savannah will be brought online. 

Completion of the entrance channel is possible because of great partnerships: Georgia Ports Authority, Georgia Department of Transportation, Great Lakes Dredge and Docks, resource agencies, and Congress. We would not have been able to execute an efficient start of construction on SHEP without the State of Georgia’s commitment and funding. Completion of the outer harbor contract demonstrates the SHEP is well on its way to completion.

Contact
Billy Birdwell
912-652-5014
912-677-6039 (cell)
or
Russell Wicke
912-652-5777
912-856-4229 (cell)

Release no. 18-016