At the end of January, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approved the plan outlining the national economic benefits of the Norfolk Harbor deepening. A final review by the Corps is expected in June, and pending a positive outcome of that review, the state has $20 million pending in the state budget to immediately begin preliminary engineering and design work on the project. The project would deepen the harbor and channel from 50 to 55 feet.
“This is an infrastructure project that holds value for Virginia, the national economy and national defense,” said John F. Reinhart, CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority. “The long-term economic benefits of this project include job creation, economic investment and the efficient flow of goods to Virginians, to multiple markets in the Mid-Atlantic and into the nation’s Heartland. Additionally, there are benefits to the U.S. Navy and all the users of the harbor.”
The National Economic Development benefit (NED) plan estimates the value to the nation of large civil works programs. A program’s value is expressed in terms of each program’s contributions to NED benefits and revenues to the federal government.
“This positive outcome is the result of collaboration within our agency, with The Port of Virginia, and the many stakeholders that rely on this critical infrastructure,” said Col. Jason E. Kelly, commander, Norfolk District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. “Today’s event is a great example of Army Corps process evolution. This project will greatly impact existing inefficiencies in a positive way.”