NEW YORK The Georgia legislature has included an additional $50 million in its fiscal 2014 budget to deepen ports.
The Georgia Ports Authority said that along with previously agreed-upon funding, the state will allocate $231.1 million toward the Savannah harbor expansion project, which will deepen the citys harbor to 47 feet from 42 feet to accommodate an anticipated increase in the number of supersized container vessels following the expansion of the Panama Canal in 2015.
"This infrastructure investment is crucial not just for the port, but for the economy of Georgia and the entire Southeast," Gov. Nathan Deal said in a news release.
The Georgia Ports Authority, which has jurisdiction over the Port of Savannah and the Port of Brunswick, is one of the top automotive import hubs in the country. Last month, the agency said that it had experienced "stellar" growth in auto and machinery shipments, including a 30.4-percent year-on-year increase at the Port of Brunswick in February.