The port of Virginia has secured full federal authorisation for its project to deepen and widen Norfolk Harbor’s commercial shipping channels.
The project is included in America’s Water Infrastructure Act 2018, which was approved on October 23.
Dredging will increase the depth of the harbour’s commercial channels to 55 ft (16.8 m) and the channel in the Chesapeake Bay to 56 ft (17.1 m), while the channel will also be widened to as much as 1,400 ft (426.7 m) in certain parts to enable two-way traffic of ultra-large container vessels.
“Virginia’s inclusion in this legislation will ultimately provide us the means to better serve our ocean carrier customers by allowing them to sail the biggest ships in their fleets to Virginia,” said John Reinhart, ceo and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority.
“When the Wider, Deeper, Safer project is coupled with the USD700 million investment we are making to expand capacity at our main container terminals, cargo owners throughout the mid-Atlantic and the nation’s heartland benefit because the speed of exports and imports flowing through Virginia will increase.”
The engineering and design of the project is underway in partnership the US Army Corps of Engineers. Construction is scheduled to begin in January 2020, with completion slated for 2025.