Virginia’s congressional delegation is urging President Obama to support funding to expand the Port of Virginia.
In a bipartisan letter signed by the delegation, the members urged the Administration to support funds for a project to expand the current dredge fill facility at Craney Island in Hampton Roads and allow for a marine terminal on site that will nearly double the cargo capacity of the Port.
“We write to share our strong support for the Craney Island Eastward Expansion, a partnership of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Virginia Port Authority,” the members wrote. “We request civil works funding in the FY17 President’s Budget and consideration for this project in the FY16 work plan pending approval of the FY16 Energy & Water appropriations bill. This project could execute up to $50 million in funds if approved over these fiscal years.”
The Port of Virginia is a gateway for international commerce and is one of fifteen U.S. strategic ports that support the mobilization and readiness of the national defense. The harbor at the Port is the deepest on the East Coast and the only eastern port with Congressional authorization to dredge to 55 feet – a critical consideration in an era when container ships are larger and heavier than ever before.
“The Port of Virginia’s location within a day’s drive of two-thirds of the U.S. population makes it a vital piece of the nation’s multi-modal commercial and transportation system. We believe the Craney Island Eastward Expansion has clear benefits for the nation and is worthy of federal support,” the members continued.
According to an economic impact study conducted by the Mason School of Business at the College of William & Mary, 374,000 Virginia jobs are linked to activity across the Port’s six terminals, generating $17.5 billion in annual compensation and $1.4 billion in state and local taxes.
The letter have been signed by U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine and U.S. Reps. Bob Goodlatte, Bobby Scott, Randy Forbes, Rob Wittman, Gerry Connolly, Robert Hurt, Scott Rigell, Dave Brat, Don Beyer and Barbara Comstock.