Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf yesterday announced a comprehensive Capital Investment Program at the Port of Philadelphia that will result in more than $300 million in investment in the port’s infrastructure.
This initiative, which will start next year and continue through 2020, will double container capacity, position the port for future growth, create thousands of jobs, improve efficiency, and increase tax revenues.
The program, ranking among the largest investments by a state on the East Coast, will boost three of the busiest sectors of the Port of Philadelphia, including the Packer Avenue Marine Terminal, the port’s automobile-handling operation, and the Tioga Marine Terminal.
About $200 million of the Capital Investment Program will be invested in the Packer Avenue Marine Terminal, the Port of Philadelphia’s largest maritime facility.
These improvements, among others, include a deeper 45-foot depth at the terminal’s marginal berths, to match the new 45-foot depth of the Delaware River’s main channel.
The improvements at the Packer Avenue Marine Terminal will occur at about the time that the Delaware Main Channel Deepening Project, which is deepening the port’s main shipping channel from 40 to 45 feet, will be completed.
The larger, deeper-draft container vessels that will be able to reach the port because of the deepening project (as well as a recently improved Panama Canal) will now find a terminal that is especially prepared for their needs.
“Our thanks to the Governor for his great support of our Port,” said PRPA Chairman Gerard H. Sweeney. “His determination to reposition the Port is the catalyst we needed to take advantage of the channel deepening and position ourselves as a competitive East Coast port. I am so proud of all the great work performed by the thousands of men and women who work hard at the Port of Philadelphia every day.“
Officials at the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority anticipate an aggressive “shovels in the ground” schedule beginning early next year to make these planned capital improvements.