CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The president of the South Carolina Ports Authority on Wednesday called Congress' authorization to deepen Charleston Harbor "a great piece of news."
Jim Newsome's comments were made during the monthly meeting of the SPA's board of directors.
The harbor should be deepened in the next three years, according to Newsome.
Last week Congress approved $509 million to deepen the harbor to 52 feet.
Newsome told board members when completed, Charleston's harbor will be the deepest on the East Coast.
Officials say a deeper harbor will accommodate bigger, heavier ships.
"We are not doing this for fun because big ships are coming here," Newsome told board members.
Newsome said the project should take ten years to complete.
He told board members similar projects usually take 20 years to complete.
Newsome said the next step will be to get the funds for the harbor deepening included in the president's fiscal 2018 budget.