Thanks to action by the Virginia General Assembly and Governor McAuliffe in 2014, authorizing over $6 million to perform the necessary preliminary studies, Virginia is on its way to dredging the Norfolk Harbor to a depth of 55 feet and the Southern Branch of the Elizabeth River to depths up to 45 feet. Total project costs are estimated at just over $252 million, cost-shared between the State and Federal Governments.
How the Port of Virginia is Getting ready for Wider, Deeper, Safer?
Perform Studies for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers General Re-evaluation Report
Preparation & Approval of General Re-evaluation Report
Project Engineering & Design - $2 million Commitment Needed
Begin Phased Construction by 2020 - $244 million Commitment Needed
WHY IS DEEPENING THE CHANNELS IMPORTANT TO VIRGINIA?
REDUCE TRANSPORTATION COSTS:
Deeper channels reduce the transportation costs for shipping goods internationally making Virginia-made goods, businesses, and our Commonwealth more competitive in the global marketplace.
KEEP OUR COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE:
Virginia’s 50-foot channels have given our ports a competitive advantage. As ships continue to increase in size, we must retain our ports’ capability to receive and sail the largest vessels, fully loaded and regardless of tides and weather.
Having benefited from having the deepest channels on the East Coast, Virginia’s advantage is now being lost. New York, Baltimore and Miami have attained 50-foot channels, Charleston has approvals and funding committed to dredge to 52 feet in 2019, and the other major East Coast ports are deepening their channels to compete with Virginia.
The Port of Virginia has the opportunity to keep its competitive edge and market share against other East Coast ports by taking our main channels to 55 feet and the Southern Branch of the Elizabeth River to 45 feet.
Membership with the VMA directly supports advocacy for projects like Wider Deeper Safer.