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Corps Awards $40.2M Contract to Build Raw Water Storage for Savannah Harbor Expansion

Posted on December 15, 2015

Construction should begin by this summer on a $40.2 million, raw water storage impoundment for the City of Savannah as part of environmental mitigation for the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Savannah District, awarded Thalle Construction Company of Hillsborough, North Carolina, to build the 17-acre impoundment in Effingham County, Georgia, along Abercorn Creek.

The impoundment, a small reservoir, will provide an additional resource of fresh water that may be needed when the Savannah River experiences drought conditions at extremely high tides in hot weather. Use of the impoundment during these rare occurrences ensures water quality remains unchanged.

Building the impoundment is part of the $706 million harbor expansion project, known as SHEP. Deepening the harbor from 42 to 47 feet will enable newer and larger container ships to call on the Garden City terminal with greater ease, heavier cargoes and fewer tidal restraints than they currently experience. The Corps of Engineers estimates the deepening, when complete, will provide greater shipping efficiencies that will result in approximately $175 million per year in benefits from transportation cost savings to U.S. consumers.

During normal operations, water will be drawn from Abercorn Creek and will bypass the impoundment, which will be kept full. During low river flows (drought conditions) and high tides, pumping from Abercorn Creek will stop and water will be drawn from the impoundment until tides recede.

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