As part of his ongoing work to deepen the Port of Savannah, U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., today announced that he will visit the Panama Canal with Vice President Biden early next week. Isakson has worked tirelessly to deepen the Savannah Harbor in order to accommodate an increase in the number of super-sized container vessels transiting the Panama Canal after its 2015 deepening.
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, who has been instrumental in moving the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project forward, will also travel with the Vice President and Isakson, along with other members of Congress and mayors of port cities.
"I am proud to join Vice President Biden and Mayor Reed next week at the Panama Canal to see the Panama Expansion Project firsthand and to learn more about the project as it relates to the Savannah Harbor," said Isakson. "I applaud the administration for placing a high priority on U.S. ports. I am particularly excited as it pertains to the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project, as it is critically important to the state of Georgia, Southeast region and nation and will support hundreds of thousands of jobs each year while generating billions in revenue. I will continue to work with the White House, the state of Georgia and Congress to see this project through to its completion."
In September of this year, Vice President Biden toured the Port of Savannah where he called for continued investment to improve our nation's infrastructure.
Recently, the project passed a major milestone when the House and Senate passed a key provision to allow the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project to move forward, known as a "902 authorization."
Isakson has worked to expand the Port of Savannah since arriving in Congress and has made the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project one of his top economic priorities in the Senate. Studies by the Army Corps of Engineers show a 5.5-to-1 benefit to cost ratio, meaning that for every dollar spent on the deepening, the nation will reap $5.50 in benefits.
According to the Georgia Ports Authority, Georgia's deepwater ports and inland barge terminals support more than 352,000 jobs throughout the state annually and contribute $18.5 billion in income, $66.9 billion in revenue and $2.5 billion in state and local taxes to Georgia's economy. The Port of Savannah was the second busiest U.S. container
port for the export of American goods by tonnage.