The Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works, Mr. Ricky R.D. James, traveled to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Norfolk District recently to meet with Virginia Port Authority leaders.
During the visit, the Assistant Secretary James said: “Norfolk District is preparing to ‘Move Dirt’ in Norfolk Harbor and start dredging to allow for larger vessel activity within the port and a safer transit for all. The influx of activity will have a huge beneficial economic impact on the port, Virginia, and the nation.”
The “Wider, Deeper, Safer” dredging project will make the Port of Virginia one of the deepest ports on the East Coast and 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.
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 were pleased to host Secretary James and his colleagues here at the Port of Virginia so they could witness firsthand how his revolutionizing of the Corps is moving projects forward,” said Cathie Vick, Chief Public Affairs Officer, Virginia Port Authority.
The Assistant Secretary was accompanied by his Deputy Assistant for Project Planning and Review, Mr. David Leach, and Norfolk District Commander, Col. Patrick Kinsman, on a tour of Norfolk Harbor aboard Survey Vessel Ewell, where they saw Virginia International Gateway, Craney Island, and Navy and Coast Guard facilities.