Perdue pushes Savannah harbor deepening

Gov. Sonny Perdue is making a renewed push to deepen the shipping channel into the Port of Savannah by the end of 2014 to coincide with a major expansion of the Panama Canal.

The governor spoke by phone with reporters Thursday after touring the Panama Canal, where new locks scheduled to open in 2014 will double its capacity and allow passage of larger ships. Perdue said it's critical that Georgia's prepared to handle
those larger ships so it won't lose business to other ports. About 72 percent of ships calling on the Savannah port travel through the Panama Canal. A proposal to deepen the Savannah harbor from 42 to 48 feet has been in the works since 1996.

It's still being studied by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.