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Army Corps of Engineers Recommends Deepening Charleston Harbor to 52'


US Army Corps of Engineers' Draft Integrated FeasibilityReport and Environmental Impact Statement Released with 52-Foot DepthRecommendation

 Charleston, South Carolina - Today the US Army Corps of Engineersreleased the Draft Integrated Feasibility Report and Environmental ImpactStatement for the Post-45 Harbor Deepening project, recommending that theCharleston Harbor be deepened to 52 feet.

"The Port of Charleston's ability to handlepost-Panamax vessels 24 hours a day without tidal restriction is critical tothe future competitiveness of our state port system," said Jim Newsome,SCPA president and CEO. "Completion of our harbor deepening project to 52feet ensures that SCPA will continue to grow above the market average andremain a top ten port, facilitating trade and economic development for ourentire state, region and nation. We would like to recognize the expertise andprofessionalism of the US Army Corps of Engineers as our partner on thisproject, and we look forward to working together through the completion ofharbor deepening."

Launched in 2011, the federal deepening project will expandthe Port of Charleston's ability to handle the post-Panamax vessels dominatingthe ocean carrier industry. Following the opening of the Panama Canal expansionand raising of the Bayonne Bridge in New Jersey, post-Panamax vessels areexpected to call the East Coast more frequently, requiring ports to invest ininfrastructure and deepening projects to be competitive. Charleston currentlyreceives seven post-Panamax vessel calls weekly and handles ships of this sizewith tidal restrictions.

Growth of commerce in the Southeast region also requires adeeper harbor. US container trade is expected to be export dominant by 2020,and export containers typically weigh three tons more than import boxes. The strongmanufacturing presence in South Carolina and throughout the Southeast drivesincreased exports and the need for harbor depth to accommodate fully-loadedpost-Panamax vessels.

 "Deepening the Charleston Harbor is a project that has garneredunited political support at all levels of government," said Bill Stern,SCPA Board Chairman. "We are fortunate for the leadership and vision ofour General Assembly, who previously set aside the state share of constructioncosts. Our Congressional delegation members are among the strongest advocatesfor our project and the importance of our state's port system."

 The SC General Assembly set aside the full estimated state share of thedeepening construction costs in 2013, and the project was named was named oneof President Obama's "We Can't Wait" initiatives. Construction willbegin following the issuance of the Chief's Report in September 2015 and thePreconstruction Engineering and Design Phase, during which additional costsaving opportunities on the project may be identified.

The report released today outlines the project's significantbenefits to the nation and illustrates that the project can easily beconstructed in an environmentally-responsible manner. For more informationabout harbor deepening, visit the port's website at

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Luzuriaga Mims, LLP isan insurance defense firm based in Charleston, South Carolina.  LuzuriagaMims primary practice areas are: Longshore Defense, Workers' CompensationDefense, and Litigation.  Luzuriaga Mims Longshore Defense practice isnationwide with a primary focus on the east and gulf coasts, specificallyCharleston, South Carolina, Savannah & Brunswick, Georgia, Wilmington,North Carolina, and Jacksonville, Florida.  The Workers' CompensationDefense practice spans South Carolina and Georgia, and the Litigation practicegroup focuses on the defense of suits arising in South Carolina. For moreinformation, visit