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Thursday May 7th, 2015 3:40AM

Congress reaches deal on bill critical to Ga. port

By The Associated Press
SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) A $652 million project to deepen the shipping channel to the Port of Savannah is closer to getting started after 15 years of studies and delays.

House and Senate negotiators in Washington say they've reached a compromise on a sweeping water projects bill expected to clear a final bureaucratic hurdle for the Savannah harbor expansion. Details of the bill weren't immediately released. Sen. Johnny Isakson said Friday he's confident the compromise includes the Savannah port language.

Isakson said, "It would be a total surprise if it doesn't."

Georgia needs a final cost-sharing agreement with the federal government to get the harbor deepening started. The Obama administration has insisted Congress must first eliminate an outdated spending cap on the project.

Isakson says he expects final passage by the end of May.
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