East Coast ports scramble to deepen harbors for larger ships

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Many of the nation's East Coast ports are at a critical crossroads. Their fate is connected to the first major expansion of the Panama Canal, according to the USA today.

When the project is completed in 2014, the canal will accommodate much larger cargo ships and those larger vessels will be making port calls along the East Coast. But there's a problem.

There is only one port with a channel deep enough to accommodate the larger ships -- and it is in Virginia.

In the Lowcountry, officials are working to find a solution. This summer, the Army Corps of Engineers and the State Ports Authority signed a cost-sharing agreement to pay for a study.

The corps will spend $150,000 and hopes to complete the study in four years.

Lawmakers hope to get an additional $1.2 million dollars to continue the work.

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