Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed says a $652 million plan to deepen the shipping channel to Savannah's seaport remains very much on President Barack Obama's radar.
Reed urged Savannah business and political leaders at a luncheon Thursday to be patient after the president's 2014 budget request last month contained far less money for the harbor expansion than the Georgia Ports Authority hoped to see.
Reed, a Democrat, has helped push the port project with the White House and noted he spent several hours with Obama when he visited Atlanta last weekend. The mayor says the president brought up the Savannah port on his own at a private gathering.
Georgia Ports Authority chief Curtis Foltz says he hopes initial construction can start this year using $231 million the state has already appropriated.
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