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Creating Depth for Aircraft Carriers

Dredging operations began in mid-April on the approximately $20 million project to provide depth for the Navy’s nuclear powered aircraft carriers to transit from Norfolk Naval Station to the Norfolk Naval Shipyard safely at all times of the day. The Corps of Engineers Norfolk District is managing the project.

“The dredging is necessary to eliminate the risk of the nuclear-powered aircraft carriers damaging their ballast water intakes, as well as grounding and possible hull damage.” said Raad Humadi, project manager with Naval Facilities Engineering Command Mid-Atlantic.

For three tenths of a mile, from Lamberts Point to the Navy Deperming Station, a 600-foot-wide portion of the federal navigation channel will be deepened from 40 feet to 50 feet. Another 4 ½ mile, 600-foot-wide portion of the channel from the Deperming station to the naval shipyard will be deepened from 40 feet to 47 feet.

“This will allow us to meet the requirements for ships entering and exiting the Lambert’s Point Deperming Station, allowing the carriers safe transit into and out of the deperming facility,” said Humadi. “The other reach of the project allows the carrier safe transit to and from Norfolk Naval Shipyard for repairs and overhauls.”

Norfolk Dredging Company’s dredge Charleston started dredging at Lamberts Point and is working toward the naval shipyard, and will eventually remove three million cubic yards of material. The project is expected to be complete in mid-October, 2012.

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