Savannah Harbor Decision: Approved For 47 Feet

Updated:  The US Army Corps recommends approval of permits for a 47 foot channel depth.  The original request was for a 48 foot channel.

Jim Galloway jolted us this morning with the news:

The Army Corps of Engineers planned to release its final studies on the economic and environmental impacts of the harbor expansion project Wednesday. The massive report’s arrival marks the beginning of the endgame for the $600 million project, which requires approval from four federal agencies before construction can begin.

The Savannah Morning News has a website with background info, as well as a link where you can watch the presser live at 10am.



  1. Max Power says:

    I know that 1 foot doesn’t seem like much but with the big tidal swings on the river it does make a difference.

  2. Baker says:

    The story says it will accommodate the larger ships but I thought the request for 48 was b/c that was what was required for those sizes? What’s the deal? Were we just gonna dig an extra foot to have some wiggle room?

    • Max Power says:

      The tides down there average about 8 feet but can be as much as 9 feet or as little as 7. It’s definitely one of the biggest tides in this part of the country. If a ship can traverse the river at 8, and the tide is only 7 she’s going to be stuck.

        • Max Power says:

          The point is you want it deep enough so that the tides aren’t a concern, it’s far more efficient that way.

          • Harry says:

            Right now it’s 42 feet, so 5 more feet is a big improvement. The big ships deal with tides in many places. It’s a trade-off between satisfying environmental and political concerns, and delaying a big ship movement a couple of hours.

    • Dave Bearse says:

      Current maximum Panamax draft is 40 feet. The new locks will be 60 feet deep, and the initial maximum allowable draft through the canal will be 50 feet. (Perhaps the maximum allowable draft will be increased some if there are no problems with a 50 foot draft vesseel.)

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