Some progress being made on Charleston harbor deepening project

(Brandon Geier/WCIV)

By Sonya

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) - It's been on the agenda for awhile, but progress is being made on the Charleston Harbor deepening project.

"The port business is a long cycle business," said South Carolina Ports Authority chief Jim Newsome. "Things happen over a course of years (and) months. Progress is slow if port choice is more strategic in nature, but we are laying a strong foundation..."

Newsome spoke to nearly 600 local maritime and business leaders Thursday afternoon at the State of the Port address. The goal of{}this address was to emphasize the importance of Charleston as a port city.

He said that we are part of "Obama's We Can't Wait Initiative" and is one of the top five harbors in terms of prioritization.

"Our port is the major economic development engine for our state; it always has been in history and will always be in the future," said Newsome.

It is uncertain exactly where the money for the deepening will come from, but lawmakers have set aside $300 million to get the project started.

Newsome said that harbor deepening must be completed by 2018.