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Lack of Funding for Savannah Construction Project

Posted on Apr 10, 2014

The Obama administration is under scrutiny by Georgia’s two senators after Vice President Joe Biden’s promises fell short. According to the senators, the Vice President promised the Port of Savannah construction project would get done, but then failed to recommend funding to start the $652 million project.

The project would deepen the Port of Savannah, making this busy shipping channel more efficient. The Port of Savannah is not the only port looking to deepen its harbor. Ports along the East Coast are hurrying to do the same because the Panama Canal finishes a major expansion within the next year. This expansion will mean more super-size cargo ships will need to dock in the Port of Savannah. As it stands right now, the port cannot accommodate those ships.

Georgia officials hoped that President Barack Obama would help fund the project because he had acknowledged the need for deeper waters in ports across the United States. Now, senators Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss both released a statement stating that there was zero funding offered in Obama’s budget for the project.

The statement went on to express disappointment in the Obama administration for delaying the Savannah construction project that would create thousands of jobs and generate billions of dollars for our economy.

According to the Army Corps of Engineers, the east coast ports wanting to deepen their harbors could share $10 million from the new budget. This $10 million was intended to obtain proposals to expand the waterways.

The Savannah container port is the fourth largest in the United States, and the second busiest on the east coast. Both President Obama and Vice President Biden promised funding to help grow jobs and increase exports. They both also visited Savannah specifically to address this issue, and mentioned Savannah in their media tour, which is why the senators were so surprised at the snub by the administration.

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Dwight T. Feemster
Dwight is a civil and criminal attorney in Georgia.

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