The Army Corps of Engineers has released their final General Re-evaluation Report (GRR) and an Environmental Impact Study (EIS) regarding the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project (SHEP). The GRR and EIS sought to analyze engineering alternatives, environmental impacts, and the costs and benefits of the SHEP, in addition to projecting future attributes of shipping fleets and trade routes. The final report was created with the assistance of several Federal and State agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency and the Georgia Ports Authority. The final report concluded that the deepening of Savannah Harbor from 42 feet to 47 feet was economically beneficial and environmentally sound.
The SHEP is estimated to have annual benefits of $174 million to the US, and to have a cost-benefit ratio of 5.5 to 1. Estimated total cost for SHEP is $652 million and the costs will be shared by the Federal government and the State of Georgia. A major portion, about 45%, of the total cost is dedicated to making the project environmentally friendly and sustainable. With the final reports favorable results, the SHEP is expected to receive a Signing of the Record of Decision by year’s end, which is the final step before construction on the project can begin.