The President’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 Budget includes $138 million for the 52-foot Charleston Harbor deepening project, a milestone that provides an opportunity for the project to receive Congressional funding for construction. The Port of Corpus Christi’s Ship Channel Improvement Project (CIP) was funded at $53 million in the proposed budget.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ recalculation of the benefit-to-cost ratio (BCR) to a new score of 6.4 last fall allowed the Charleston Harbor project to meet the threshold for consideration in the president’s budget. The new BCR was driven primarily by the South Carolina Port Authority’s container cargo volume growth, which significantly outpaced estimates used in the original 2012 study.
Construction work began on the Charleston Harbor entrance channel in February 2018, following the awarding of the first two dredging contracts, totaling $260 million, by the Corps. Deepening the harbor up to the port’s busiest container terminal, the Wando Welch, is expected by early 2021.
The proposed budget for the Port of Corpus Christi’s CIP includes $53,313,000 in funding. The CIP received $13 million in the 2019 federal budget, $23 million in the 2019 USACE Work Plan, and $59 million in the USACE 2020 Work Plan, in addition to the $132 million the Port of Corpus Christi has contributed to the CIP project.