Dredging complete for Savannah Harbor Expansion Project

USACE, Savannah District
Published March 9, 2022

The Port of Savannah is the third busiest port in the United States, and the fastest growing port in the Nation for the past 10 years. Studies show the expansion will produce substantial economic benefits for the nation by allowing larger and more heavily loaded container vessels to use the harbor with fewer weight and tidal restrictions. The project is expected to net more than $291 million in annual benefits to the nation. Also, Georgia’s deepwater ports and inland barge terminals support more than 496,700 jobs throughout the state annually and contribute $29 billion in income, $122 billion in revenue and $3.4 billion in state and local taxes to Georgia’s economy. The Port of Savannah handled 9.3 percent of total U.S. containerized cargo volume and 10.5 percent of all U.S. containerized exports in Fiscal Year 2020.

As the lead federal agency for the project, USACE partnered with Georgia Department of Transportation and the Georgia Ports Authority and multiple contractors and agencies. Weeks Marine completed this portion of the operations – the final deepening of the channel from the Fort Pulaski area up to the Garden City Port.

All studies and plans required close coordination and approval from the Secretary of Commerce, the Secretary of Interior, and the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. Given the proximity of the channel to sensitive estuarine resources, USACE, along with its state and federal partners, conducted extensive engineering and environmental studies to identify the expected impacts and continue to ensure those impacts are offset through mitigation. Some of the Environmental mitigation features included, but are not limited to, installing a dissolved oxygen system; re-routing freshwater flow in the upper harbor; preserving 2,245 acres of freshwater wetlands for the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge; recovering remnants of the CSS Georgia civil war ironclad that rested some 40 feet below the river's surface; and Revolutionary and Civil War artifacts. Other environmental mitigation efforts are ongoing.

Cheri Pritchard
912-677-6039 (cell)

Release no. 22-004