Mayor’s Office of Communications
55 Trinity Avenue, Suite 2500 • Atlanta, Georgia 30303
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 07/19/12
Mayor Kasim Reed Applauds Obama Administration for Fast-Tracking Reviews for the Port of Savannah
Mayor Kasim Reed praises President Barack Obama’s decision and calls on metropolitan Atlanta residents to move forward on other critical infrastructure projects by voting in the July 31 Regional Transportation Referendum
ATLANTA – Mayor Kasim Reed praised President Barack Obama for today’s We Can’t Wait announcement that expedites the study of the deepening of the Port of Savannah among several other national and regional infrastructure projects. He also called on metropolitan Atlanta voters to follow the White House’s lead on recognizing the importance of infrastructure investment by voting in the Regional Transportation Referendum on July 31.
“The deepening of the Port of Savannah is vital not only for that region, but for the entire state of Georgia,” Mayor Reed said. “It is yet another example of the importance of working together across partisan and regional lines to create jobs that ensure we remain competitive and continue to attract business and talented workers. President Obama’s support of the Savannah Harbor study is the right decision at the right time.”
Mayor Reed added: “The Port of Savannah and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport create a logistics network that strengthens our region and ensures our economic health. Investment in our ports, roads, bridges, transit and airports is critical to get people back to work. That’s why it is so important that we pass the Regional Transportation Referendum in metropolitan Atlanta and ensure that our entire region can be prepared when the new, larger cargo ships begin passing through the expanded Panama Canal in 2014.”
As part of President Obama’s We Can’t Wait initiative, the federal Office of Management and Budget is leading a government-wide effort to improve the permitting-and-review process. The Port of Savannah was among five major U.S. ports cited as nationally significant projects in today’s announcement including the Port of Jacksonville, the Port of Miami, the Port of New York and New Jersey and the Port of Charleston. In the coming weeks, the White House plans to announce all 43 national and regional projects subject to this executive order.
In its announcement, the White House said the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has completed a feasibility study that examined the benefits and costs of deepening the existing channel at Savannah Harbor from its current depth of 42 feet to a depth of 47 feet. As proposed, the project would enable the Port of Savannah to accommodate larger cargo vessels and other ships, especially those sailing through a renovated Panama Canal.
Additionally, the White House set a target date for November 2012 for all federal agencies to complete their permit and review processes.
"To have the President of the United States acknowledge the importance of the Port of Savannah — its infrastructure improvement needs and the role it plays in the economic recovery of the Southeast — is significant,” said Curtis Foltz, Georgia Port Authority's Executive Director.
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