Plans to deepen the Port of Savannah's busy shipping channel are shrinking by a foot of depth while adding about $50 million in costs to taxpayers.
Those were the major changes to the project revealed Wednesday as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released its final study on the economic and environmental impacts of dredging the Savannah River between the port and the Atlantic Ocean.
The Georgia Ports Authority long sought to deepen the river from 42 to 48 feet. But port officials yielded to the federal agency's finding that stopping at 47 feet would create a better cost-benefit ratio.
The project's overall cost rose to $652 million. Col. Jeff Hall, commander of the Army Corps' Savannah District, says most of the added costs are for new environmental mitigation features.