Port project included in federal budget bill – The Newnan Times-Herald


Port project included in federal budget bill – The Newnan Times-Herald

Funding for expansion of the Savannah port is in the budget bill approved by the U.S. Senate.

State officials have been pushing for expansion of the port in Savannah so it can serve larger vessels when the Panama Canal expansion project is completed. The Savannah port has a major impact on local businesses — bringing in raw materials and products for local companies and shipping out finished goods made in Coweta to points all over the globe.

Associated Press writer Henry C. Jackson noted large projects — like the $461 million for the Savannah project — are pulling politicians with diverse views together. “Big multimillion-dollar water projects, once a favorite target of good-government reformers who made them a poster child of political pork, are back in vogue as a rare force of concord in a dysfunctional Congress,” he wrote.

“Republicans and Democrats who found little common ground in 2013 are rallying around a bill they hope to pass early next year authorizing up to $12.5 billion over the next decade,” Jackson wrote.

U.S. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, a Coweta resident, said the ports “are extremely important to our state’s economy” and “provide a much needed link to our overseas trading partners.”

The Panama Canal is being deepened, and much larger ships will be coming through the locks of the canal when that project is finished. Some U.S. ports — including Savannah currently — are not deep enough to serve those new ships.

All exports from eastern Asia ship through the Panama Canal to reach the eastern seaboard. “If U.S. ports don’t deepen and widen their facilities, they simply will be bypassed to a port that can accommodate these shipments,” Boothby said.

According to a May 6 report on National Public Radio, Baltimore, Md. and Norfolk, Va. are currently the only ports on the eastern seaboard that are deep enough to accommodate the larger ships slated to come through the Panama Canal.

via Port project included in federal budget bill – The Newnan Times-Herald.

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