Photo: Patrick Bloodgood, USACE

Boost for Wider, Deeper, Safer Norfolk

Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works announced last week the work plans for two recently enacted laws – the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act; and the 2022 Disaster Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act.

These will provide the USACE Norfolk District with an additional $328 million for fiscal year 2022.

The Norfolk Harbor Channel Deepening Project will see $69 million added to the already budgeted $83.7 million.

Branded “Wider, Deeper, Safer,” the district has worked closely with the Virginia Port Authority, and with Naval Station Norfolk to move the dredging project along.

USACE photo

This project will make transit in and out of the Port of Virginia safer for some of the largest ships in the Atlantic Ocean. Deeper channels mean larger ships and larger ships mean lower transportation costs, the savings of which are passed on to the general population as lower commodity costs.

“We’ll award [the contract for] the channel to Newport News this summer, soon followed by work in the Norfolk Inner Harbor with the money received for the deepening,” said Deputy District Engineer Mike Darrow.

A 2019 article released by the office of Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works) said that the Port of Virginia receives on average about four ultra-large container vessels per week, mostly over 1,000 feet in length. The upcoming expansion will reduce the vessel delays that are caused by these ultra-large ships.