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Having received the blessing of S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley (here) and the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama (here), the state of Georgia is moving forward with another component of its controversial Savannah port expansion project.

Why controversial?

Well, Georgia’s taxpayer-funded port expansion – which Haley’s S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) approved last month – effectively takes a privately-run deepwater port in Jasper County, S.C. off of the table. It would also help Georgia maintain its competitive advantage over the Port of Charleston – which it recently leapfrogged in the national rankings.

Obviously that’s great news … for Georgia.

It’s awful news for South Carolina, for U.S. taxpayers and for the environment.

Nonetheless, this week victorious Georgia’s Department of Transportation announced that it had awarded a contract for the Jimmy Deloach Parkway Connector – a $73 million highway construction project that was contingent on the state’s port expansion plans being approved.

According to The (Newnan, Georgia) Times-Herald, the connector project will be completed in December 2015.

Georgia Ports Authority executive director Curtis Foltz told the paper that the project’s completion will “create a transportation and logistics hub for the entire Southeast U.S.” Foltz added that the bid for the project “could never have been awarded without the strong leadership of Gov. Nathan Deal, the General Assembly and the DOT and GPA boards.”

Um … don’t forget Haley, who is has been receiving praise from the press in Georgia for her efforts on behalf of the state’s expansion plans.

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