SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — Georgia officials say they’re taking a closer look at having state taxpayers pay a larger upfront share to begin deepening the waterway to the bustling Port of Savannah.

The nation’s fourth busiest container port in Savannah, like others along the East Coast, is racing to deepen its harbor for supersized container ships expected to arrive through an expanded Panama Canal in 2015. But the federal government’s share of the $652 million project is proving tough to get. President Barack Obama’s proposed budget last week sought just $1.28 million for the harbor.

More than $231 million in state funding has been set aside already. Gov. Nathan Deal’s chief of staff, Chris Riley, says state officials are considering spending more upfront to make up for a lack of federal dollars.


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