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      The White House gives Charleston Port a much needed push

      BY DEAN STEPHENSdstephens@abcnews4.com

      Charleston, SC (WCIV) - President Barack Obama gave the Port of Charleston deepening project a much needed push. The White House announced that it will help expedite the Army Corps of Engineers study meaning it will be completed in three years instead of ten years.

      According to the White House, "the Army Corps is implementing an aggressive planning schedule for the Charleston Harbor Feasibility Study that will examine the benefits and costs of deepening the Federal navigation channel for Charleston Harbor from its existing depth of 45 feet to a maximum of 50 feet to accommodate larger cargo vessels and other ships, ultimately facilitating a more efficient movement of goods."

      South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley praised the Presidents' effort.

      "This is a huge win for Charleston and for all of South Carolina. Back in February, I stressed to the President how important deepening Charleston's Port was and how frustrating the Army Corps' timetable was, and I'm thrilled to see the Administration has sped up our project. Today is a huge, huge leap forward for our state."

      South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham was impressed with how the entire SC delegation worked together to make the Port project possible.

      "I want to thank Charleston Mayor Joe Riley who has taken the time and effort to personally make the case to President Obama. Congressman Clyburn has used his influence to push this project forward and all the members of our congressional delegation - Tim Scott, Joe Wilson, Jeff Duncan, Trey Gowdy, and Mick Mulvaney - have stressed to our congressional leaders the importance of the Charleston port," said Sen. Graham.

      The port project was just one of seven that was given the green light as part of President's Obama "We Can't Wait Initiative".

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