The federal government will spend $150,000 this year to continue a study on deepening Charleston Harbor.
South Carolina Rep. Jim Clyburn, Sen. Lindsey Graham and Rep. Tim Scott said during a news conference Tuesday that the funding will move the Charleston project forward for the rest of this year.
But the delegation will have to find a way to allocate $1.2 million for the project in the fiscal year that starts Oct. 1. Charleston is looking to deepen the port in part because the widening of the Panama Canal will allow larger ships to call.
"This is a very good day for the Port of Charleston," said Sen. Lindsey Graham. "Today's announcement is an important first step in a long journey. I truly appreciate the help the Vice President has provided in this effort. I appreciate the work of the South Carolina delegation in making this happen."
"This is great news for the economy of South Carolina," Congressman James Clyburn said. "I appreciate the support from the Obama Administration for our efforts to ensure the Charleston Port remains a vital economic engine for South Carolina well into the future.""I appreciate that after we have ended earmarks, the Corps chose to fund the study for Charleston port deepening based on merit instead of being forced to fund wasteful earmarks based on politics," said Sen. Jim DeMint. "This is a step in the right direction, but now it is important as ever that we continue to push for long-term spending reforms."
"As I recruit companies and jobs to South Carolina, one of the main topics of conversation is always our ports. South Carolina is in the unique position to lead the nation in economic development if we can strengthen and deepen the Charleston port.," said Gov. Nikki Haley."I am very proud of the work and cooperation of our federal delegation for getting this done, and for doing so without falling back on the earmark process that has been damaging to our nation in so many ways. It is a great day for South Carolina."
The total cost of the project is estimated at about $300 million.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released its Work Plan for the rest of Fiscal Year 2011 and included funds to kick-off the next phase of the Charleston Harbor post-45 foot deepening project.