CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A bill heading to the U.S. Senate floor will authorize the Charleston Harbor deepening project and allocate federal funding.
The Senate's Committee on Environment and Public Works approved the Water Resources Development Act Thursday morning.
The WRDA authorizes the Army Corps of Engineers report completed in September 2015. That report allows for deepening the shipping channel from 45 feet to 52 feet.
South Carolina Ports Authority President Jim Newsome said this will make it the deepest on the east coast.
The cost to deepen the Charleston Harbor shipping channel is estimated at almost $500 million. The WRDA makes the project eligible for about $225 million in federal funding. State lawmakers approved South Carolina's share of the funding in 2012.
It is not yet clear when the Senate will vote on the bill.