Freight News, Sea

Port of Baltimore completes dredging

[ April 27, 2021   //   ]

The Helen Delich Bentley Port of Baltimore completed dredging operations the week of April 19 to create a second, 50-foot deep container berth at its Seagirt Marine Terminal. The project, accomplished as part of the public-private partnership between the Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Port Administration (MDOT MPA) and Ports America Chesapeake, will allow the Port to accommodate two ultra-large ships simultaneously by the end of this year.
With the second 50-foot deep berth completed, four additional Neo-Panamax cranes will arrive this summer and will be operational later this year. The berth project is part of a $122.1 million investment, with $105 million from Ports America, $10.5 million from the state and $6.6 million in federal funding. Ports America Chesapeake is also investing an additional $61 million into Seagirt for additional equipment, infrastructure enhancements and technology upgrades.
The planned expansion of the 126-year-old Howard Street Tunnel in Baltimore will accommodate double-stacked rail cars moving cargo to and from the Port, improving capacity from Baltimore to rail lines up and down the East Coast. That project is also benefitting from public-private investment between the federal government, Maryland, CSX and others. Pending final National Environmental Policy Act approval, CSX will complete final engineering and permitting, with construction expected late this year.
“We’re moving forward in the Port of Baltimore,” said MDOT MPA Executive Director William P. Doyle. “We appreciate the on-time and on-budget dredging work completed by Maryland-based Corman Kokosing, a great U.S.-flag dredging and marine construction operator. This summer we’ll welcome four new Neo Panamax cranes and later this year we’ll break ground on the Howard Street Tunnel project, giving the Port and CSX double stack capability north, south and all the way out to Chicago. These are very exciting times for the Port of Baltimore.”
The public-private partnership between MDOT MPA and Seagirt operator Ports America Chesapeake was signed in 2010 in the wake of a national recession. The P3 has generated thousands of jobs and continues to result in increased tax revenue for the state and funds for the Transportation Trust Fund.
“We’re very excited to be moving forward on this project which will greatly enhance container operations at the Port of Baltimore,” said Ports America Chesapeake Vice President Bayard Hogans. ”Ports America Chesapeake is also making other significant investments in upgrades at Seagirt Marine Terminal including additional yard equipment, new truck gates, and advanced technology. All of these initiatives are contributing to increasing the Port’s capacity and efficiency — and ultimately support future growth.”
“Completing the second, 50-foot deep berth is great news for the labor force of the Port of Baltimore,” said Scott Cowan, president of International Longshoremen’s Association Local 333. “The men and women of ILA 333 are looking forward to the opportunities to work even more larger ships and handle higher amounts of cargo.”