Rep. Scott Applauds House Passage Of Savannah Harbor Expansion Authorization
Washington, October 23, 2013
Today, the House passed H.R. 3080, the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA), which authorizes the development and maintenance of the nation’s waterway infrastructure. H.R. 3080 includes a key provision that authorizes the funding necessary for the Savannah Harbor expansion project to move forward. This provision will end a 14 year delay of the project to deepen the harbor from 42 to 47 feet in order to accommodate new supertankers that will soon be coming from the Panama Canal. The expansion of the harbor will ensure it remains a vital piece of the national infrastructure and have a major economic impact on Georgia and the nation.
“The House has finally passed major legislation with bipartisan agreement, including the entire Georgia delegation," Congressman Scott said. "The expansion of the Savannah Harbor is critically important to Georgia's economy. The deepening of the Panama Canal allows for larger cargo ships to move up the Atlantic coast. Once WRRDA is enacted into law, the Savannah Port will move to modernize to compete for more global business. I also call on the House leadership to bring up the transportation appropriations bill for passage in a similar bipartisan manner.”
President Obama and the Army Corps of Engineers have deemed the Port of Savannah a “nationally and regionally significant infrastructure project.” Studies by the Corps of Engineers show a 5.5-to-1 benefit to cost ratio, meaning that for every dollar spent on the deepening, the nation will reap $5.50 in benefits. According to the Georgia Ports Authority, Georgia’s deep water ports and inland barge terminals support more than 352,000 jobs throughout the state annually and contribute $18.5 billion in income, $66.9 billion in revenue and $2.5 billion in state and local taxes to Georgia’s economy.
The House voted 417-3 to pass H.R. 3080 and on May 15, the U.S. Senate passed its version of WRRDA by a vote of 83-14. The House and Senate must reconcile their differences before sending a final bill to the president to sign into law.