Federal funding secured for deepening of Virginia Port shipping channels
The Port of Virginia and the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) have entered into an agreement committing the US federal government to begin its financial investment in the construction effort to widen and deepen the commercial shipping channels and Norfolk Harbor.
The commercial shipping channels from the Atlantic Ocean and into the harbour are being deepened to least 55 feet (16.7 metres) and made wide enough to safely accommodate two-way traffic of ultra-large containerships.
The final installment of the federal investment of US$72 million was included in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The federal government and the port agreed to a 50-50 cost share of the project at its outset in 2015 when the USACE began evaluating the economic value of a deeper and wider Norfolk Harbor and commercial shipping channel.
The related dredging work began in December 2019, nearly two-and-a-half years ahead of schedule. The dredged material will benefit regional beaches.