The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Norfolk District Commander, Col. Patrick Kinsman, signed the Norfolk Harbor Navigation Improvements Design Agreement at the District headquarters yesterday.
The executed agreement is a prerequisite to the release of Fiscal Year 2019 Work Plan funds and is the next step following last year’s Chief’s Report and authorization in the America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018.
The Pre-construction Engineering and Design period is to prepare for and transition into construction of the $270 million project.
The “Wider, Deeper, Safer” dredging project will deepen the Inner Harbor channels to 55 feet, Chesapeake Bay’s Thimble Shoal Channel to 56 feet and Atlantic Ocean Channel to 59 feet. The Thimble Shoal Channel will also be widened up to 1,400 feet in select areas, allowing for ultra-large container vessel two-way traffic.
The Virginia Port Authority is expecting to begin Construction on the western portion of the Thimble Shoal Channel by January 2020.