CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The Army Corps of Engineers has given its approval to deepening the Charleston Harbor shipping channel.
Monday's report is a critical step to helping get money from Congress to deepen the channel to 52 feet.
South Carolina Ports Authority President Jim Newsome says that would make Charleston the deepest port on the East Coast, which is critical to keep the port growing with bigger ships being allowed through the Panama Canal.
Officials have already received money to begin planning the deepening project.
Both Republican U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham and Democratic U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn vowed to get money to help the project.
Authorities have estimated it will cost about $500 million to deepen the shipping channel.