President Barack Obama today will announce that the dredging of the Port of Savannah is among seven nationally significant infrastructure projects that have been placed on a funding fast track, with all necessary federal reviews to be finished by November.
The program, part of what Obama has dubbed his “We Can’t Wait” initiative, amounts to a federal commitment to the $650 million deepening. Political and business leaders throughout Georgia have called the deepening is the most important infrastructure project in the state.
Other ports to receive improvements: Charleston, Jacksonville, Miami, and the Port of New York and New Jersey. The administration says dozens of additional projects to be expedited will be announced in the coming months.
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, who helped open doors for Georgia Republicans in Washington, this morning praised Obama for expediting the process.
“This is critical for the entire state of Georgia, and is yet another example of the importance of working together across bipartisan and regional lines to keep us competitive and create jobs,” the Atlanta mayor said.
U.S. Sens. Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson likewise applauded the decision.
“I am glad to see that the administration recognizes the importance of the Port of Savannah,” said Chambliss. “This project has been in the works for more than a decade. It is time that the planning phase come to an end, and we move to construction.”
“This is a positive step by the administration in recognizing the importance of the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project to our nation’s economy. We must be prepared for the larger vessels of the future, and I hope we can build on this momentum and begin the actual harbor deepening in Savannah as soon as possible,” Isakson said.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider