​“You better deepen it to 50 feet and it better happen or guess what, you will be left behind,” Biden said. “That’s because other ports along the East Coast will go ahead and do it.”

Biden also praised Gov. Nikki Haley, Charleston Mayor Joe Riley and the South Carolina federal delegation for their dedication to the harbor deepening project.

“Since the last four and half years, I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say there’s not been 10 days and two weeks that’s gone by we haven’t heard about the need to invest in infrastructure down here, particularly in the port,” Biden said.

Newsome said Biden’s visit to Charleston reinforces the Administration’s commitment to the Port of Charleston and its harbor deepening project.

The Charleston Harbor Post-45 project is now in the study phase, and the Army Corps of Engineers Charleston District has completed collecting data. The district is now analyzing that data and expects to provide a Chief’s Report by September 2015. The report will recommend a depth to dredge the harbor and will be presented to Congress.

Newsome has said the harbor must be deepened to 50 feet so SCPA can provide 24-hour access to post-Panamax ships carrying up to 9,000 TEUs and drafting 48 feet.