From Russ Bynum and the Associated Press:
SAVANNAH, Ga.— Georgia’s 15-year push to deepen the river channel to the booming Port of Savannah got a big endorsement Tuesday from Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, a member of President Barack Obama’s cabinet who finished a port tour by throwing his support behind the $600 million project and saying: “It has to happen.”
The secretary’s hosts, Gov. Nathan Deal and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, sat grinning — and perhaps a little surprised — as LaHood promised to convene a meeting of stakeholders in Washington next month to help find funding for the port expansion, which has had a tough time securing money from a Congress focused on trimming the budget deficit.
“We’ll figure out how to get the federal dollars to make this project happen,” LaHood told Georgia officials and reporters near the dock as giant cranes lifted cargo containers in the background. “It has to happen.”
Savannah, the nation’s fourth largest container port, and