A rough draft of a plan backed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recommends that the port be allowed to dredge its main shipping channels to 55 feet, down from 50 feet, and to widen them to 1,200 feet from 1,000.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers briefed about 125 stakeholders on the status of the two projects at a yearly navigational summit. The strategic objectives for the port’s waterways are, as they have been for several years now, “wider, deeper, safer.”
Both projects have been in an initial, three-year study phase since June 2015, when leaders from the Army Corps and the Port of Virginia signed off on a pair of cost-sharing agreements that set the studies in motion.
If it all works out as planned, the Port of Virginia would have shipping channels deeper and wider than those now used at the Port of Los Angeles, where the channels are 53 feet deep and the main channel about 1,000 feet wide.
The project costs are $700 million – expansions will be at Norfolk International Terminals and Virginia International Gateway, the port’s two big container facilities.