The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has authorised the port of Virginia’s plan to widen and deepen the commercial shipping channels serving Norfolk Harbor.
The dredging project will deepen the channels to 55 ft (16.8 m) and widen selected areas to allow for two-way traffic of ultra-large container vessels.
“It has been a three-year collaborative effort and the result will drive growth at the port and economic development as well as job creation throughout Virginia for decades to come,” said John F. Reinhart, ceo and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority.
The project will be executed in two phases. The first phase, preliminary engineering and design, will total approximately cost approximately USD20 million and is expected to take 18-24 months. The subsequent dredging phase represents an investment of USD330 million. This phase has an anticipated completion date in 2024.
The approval allows the project to be included in the federal Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) bill, which is a larger list of projects eligible for federal matching funds. The projects in the WRDA bill that receive funding are determined during the federal budget process.