The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Charleston District has awarded the fourth and fifth dredging construction contracts for the Charleston Harbor Post 45 Deepening Project. Contract #4 was awarded for approximately $53 million to Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company, LLC of Oak Brook, IL. Contract #5 was awarded for approximately $32 million to Marinex Construction, Inc. of Charleston, S.C.
Contract #4 will deepen to 52 feet the Lower Harbor portion of the Cooper River from the confluence with the Wando River to the new Hugh K. Leatherman, Sr. Terminal under construction by the South Carolina State Ports Authority. This contract involves the removal of more than 5.5 million cubic yards of material and has a projected completion of Summer 2022.
Contract #5 will deepen to 48 feet the Upper Harbor portion of the Cooper River from the Hugh K. Leatherman, Sr. Terminal to the North Charleston Terminal. This contract involves the removal of more than 4.3 million cubic yards of material and also has a projected completion of Summer 2022.
The work that will be completed under these two contracts, along with the three contracts already underway in the Entrance Channel and Lower Harbor, will complete the $597M deepening project that was originally authorized for construction in 2016. The Charleston Harbor Post 45 project began with dredging in the Entrance Channel in March 2018 and the overall project is scheduled to be completed in 2022, well within the originally projected timeline of 40-76 months.
“The Charleston District has been working hard with the South Carolina Ports Authority, local leaders, and private industry on this project since kicking off the feasibility study in 2010 and it is great to see that the finish line is near,” said Lt. Col. Rachel Honderd, Charleston District commander. “To take a project of this scale and impact from a feasibility study to completion in 12 years and within just 6 years of its federal construction authorization is a testament to the vision of the Port, the cooperation of local leaders, and the determination and professionalism of the Charleston District and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.”
The Corps has maintained Charleston Harbor for more than 140 years and has dredged it every year during that time to ensure the channel is at the required federal project depth. The goal of the Charleston Harbor Post 45 Deepening Project is to address transportation inefficiencies resulting from new Neo-Panamax ships being tide-restricted when accessing Charleston Harbor. The project has a benefit-to-cost ratio of 6.4, returning $6.4 dollars to the state and national economies for every $1 invested.