The project to deepen and widen the Norfolk Harbor commercial shipping channels secured federal authorization in October with the passage of the America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018.
The dredge work will take the inner harbor’s commercial channels to 55 feet deep and the channel in the Chesapeake Bay to 56 feet deep. Further, the channel will be widened to as much as 1,400 feet in select areas, which will allow for two-way traffic of ultra-large container vessels. The project’s target completion date is 2025.
“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 F. Reinhart, CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority. “When ‘Wider, Deeper, Safer’ is coupled with the $700 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.”