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Carter Leads Georgia Delegation in Request for Robust Support for Savannah Harbor Expansion Project

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Washington, March 5, 2020 | comments
Today, Congressman Earl L. "Buddy" Carter (R-Ga.) led the entire Georgia Congressional Delegation in the United States House of Representatives to request robust support for the federal funding account that includes the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project (SHEP). This is necessary to ensure the Army Corps of Engineers is able to provide funding to keep the project on time and on track.

In a letter to House Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development Chairwoman Marcy Kaptur and Ranking Member Mike Simpson, the delegation wrote, "as the committee begins its challenging work on the Fiscal Year 2021 appropriations bills, we write to thank you for your efforts in past years to support those Civil Works infrastructure programs of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) which stimulate job creation and economic growth throughout the nation. We ask that you continue those efforts this year and that, within available funds, you give robust support to the deep draft navigation programs that are critical to the ability of American workers and companies to succeed in international commerce.
 
A key example of a project that reflects the importance of deep draft navigation funding in the FY 2021 budget is the request for $93.6 million for continued construction of the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project (SHEP). As you know from our outreach in years past, this project would deepen the Savannah River channel from 42 to 47 feet in order to accommodate Post Panamax vessels. The appropriation of these funds is especially important this year because it will bring SHEP very close to completion after some two decades of bipartisan support by Congress. 
 
Completion of the on-going construction is critically important on a national basis because the USACE has validated the fact that, when the channel is fully operational, it will deliver at least $282 million in transportation savings for American customers and shippers each and every year thereafter. That constitutes a value of $7.30 in net economic benefits for every dollar spent for construction—one of the highest benefit-cost ratios for any deep draft navigation project in the nation. Federal funding for the project has already been matched by more than $300 million in funding from the State of Georgia.  Additionally, some $3 billion more in state funding for landside infrastructure has been committed or spent to maximize the efficiencies and capacities that can be achieved with channel completion. 
 
And while SHEP is a project of great importance to our own state, it is truly a program of national significance. As the third busiest and fastest growing container port in the nation, more than 30,000 companies from all 50 states ship through the Port of Savannah. Indicative of its importance as a global shipping destination the Port of Savannah is also one of the only ports in the nation that regularly exports as much, if not more, than it imports."

Click here to view the full request.
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