Thursday, February 27, 2014

Raising of CSS Georgia: Project update

(USACE, Savannah)

Plans for the raising the wreckage of the Confederate ironclad CSS Georgia are continuing in Savannah, with the recovery expected to begin later this year.

A Civil Picket article in November indicated dives may begin in the summer, but that is not a certainty, said public affairs specialist Sandra Hudson of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers district in Savannah.

There is no firm date because final approval has not been granted for this part of the multimillion deepening of the Savannah River, she said. She said the raising is expected to begin "some time" in 2014.

The CSS Georgia must be moved as part of a $652 million project benefiting the Port of Savannah. With the expansion of the Panama Canal, even larger ships will be able to travel to U.S. cities. That requires deeper channels, officials say.

A proposal for a public outreach and education plan about the CSS Georgia project also is awaiting authorization, according to Hudson.

Corps officials are preparing a website to accompany the recovery.

“Much of the preliminary information will be brief and very general, but the site will grow as we get into the project and gather more data,” Hudson told the Picket on Thursday.

Last fall, a section of the CSS Georgia – which served as a floating battery to defend the city from Union forces -- was lifted by U.S. Navy divers a couple miles east of the famed River Street.

The CSS Georgia was scuttled in late December 1864, just a day before Union forces took the port city.

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