The Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Port Administration (MDOT MPA) is set to receive $6.6 million in U.S. Department of Transportation grant funding to contribute to a project that will deepen a second container berth to 50 feet at the Helen Delich Bentley Port of Baltimore’s Seagirt Marine Terminal.
The state of Maryland will contribute $7.8 million and Ports America Chesapeake, which operates the Seagirt Marine Terminal for the MDOT MPA, will add $18.4 million for a total project cost of $32.7 million.
The federal funding is from a program called Better Utilizing Investment to Leverage Development (BUILD). Construction is scheduled to begin in the second half of 2019 and should take approximately one year to complete.
Commenting the latest news, Governor Larry Hogan said: “Our administration is committed to expanding Maryland’s transportation network, and these projects will support thousands of new jobs and spur economic growth and development in every corner of our state. I want to thank Secretary Elaine Chao and her team at the U.S. Department of Transportation for working with us to get these critical projects moving.”
A second 50-foot deep draft container berth will allow the Port of Baltimore to handle two supersized container ships simultaneously. Under a public-private partnership agreement signed in 2010 with Ports America Chesapeake, a 50-foot deep draft berth was constructed at the Seagirt Marine Terminal.
The Port of Baltimore is one of a few U.S. East Coast ports with the necessary 50-foot deep channel to accommodate these massive container vessels.
Earlier this fall, the Port of Baltimore welcomed the largest container ship to ever visit Maryland when the 11,000-TEU (Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit) container ship Gunde Maersk arrived at Seagirt.