Freight News, Sea

Virginia Begins First Phase of 55-Foot Dredging Project Ahead of Schedule

[ November 6, 2019   //   ]

The Port of Virginia® is beginning work on its ship-channel deepening-and-widening project as the staging of heavy equipment needed for the project got underway today following one last approval from the federal government.
John F. Reinhart, CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority, made the announcement today at the Hampton Roads Navigational Summit, an annual meeting where regional navigational projects are prioritized. Earlier this week, the US Environmental Protection Agency approved use of an offshore site for placement of the dredge material; that approval triggered the notice to proceed, he said.
“The work to make The Port of Virginia the deepest port on the U.S. East Coast gets underway,” Reinhart said. “This project holds long-term benefits for Virginia, for the port, for cargo owners, our customers and the ocean carriers. Safe, two-way movement of ultra-large container vessels, unrestricted by tide, is a significant competitive advantage for our port. This project and all other improvements we are making at the terminals tells the ocean carriers ‘we are ready for your big ships.’ ”
In early October, Reinhart signed a contract with New Jersey-based Weeks Marine to begin the deepening of the western side of Thimble Shoal Channel. The contract for the first phase is $78 million and the total cost of the project, including the preliminary engineering and design work, is $350 million.