Charleston Harbor Deepening Project well underway

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) -

The project manager for the Charleston Harbor Deepening Project says they have made great progress so far.

Dredging in the Charleston Harbor Post 45 Deepening Project officially started back in March.

"More than 1,500,000 cubic yards of material have been dredged to date," Holly Carpenter, the project manager, said.

That's out of 40,000,000 total yards for the entire project.

This summer there have been three dredges working; two of them were active Thursday when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers took out a handful of media personnel to see the project.

The work being done right now is to deepen the entrance channel to 54 feet.

"The excavator dredge is placing material in our mitigation reefs while the cutter head is placing materials in the ocean dredge disposal berm," Carpenter said.

The Charleston Harbor Post 45 Deepening Project will make transportation more efficient within the harbor by allowing neo-Panamax ships to come into the port without restrictions.

"What it will allow are ships that draft more than 50 feet to come into this harbor all day, not just at high tide," Carpenter said.

Those larger ships can hold up to 14,000 containers. The work being done right now is just one phase of the project.

The next phase is being advertised for an award this fall which will be the deepening of the inner harbor from the entrance channel up to the Wando Welch Terminal, according to Carpenter. That will be deepened to 52 feet.

The project is expected to be done in 40 to 76 months.

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