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American Shipper

Port of Virginia’s harbor deepening project gets approval from Army Corps

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approved a project to deepen the port’s channels and harbor to 55 feet and widened to 1,300 feet.

   The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Friday approved the Port of Virginia’s (POV) plan to widen and deepen the Norfolk Harbor, the port said.
   The port’s channels and harbor will be deepened to 55 feet and widened to 1,300 feet, which will allow larger ships to load up to their limit and will also make way for two-ship traffic.
   “When one of the big vessels passes through the harbor today, there is a temporary closure of the channel to all other commercial ship traffic,” Virginia Port Authority CEO and Executive Director John Reinhart explained. “Widening the channel allows for two-way traffic, increases the pace of commerce, and makes way for the expeditious movement of Navy vessels in a time of need.”
   In anticipation of the Army Corp’s approval, $20 million had already been included in the pending state budget to immediately begin preliminary engineering and design work on the project.
   “This is an infrastructure project that holds value for Virginia, the national economy and national defense,” Reinhart said. “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.”