Atlantic Ocean Channel dredging deal confirmed

The USACE Norfolk District, in partnership with the Virginia Port Authority (VPA) and the City of Virginia Beach, awarded a $70.6 million dredging contract to Manson Construction Company earlier this month.

Manson photo

The contract is to deepen Phase 2 of the Atlantic Ocean Channel to minimum depth of -59 feet and beneficially use a portion of the material for beach renourishment.

Work is expected to start in late Winter 2024 and run through August 2025.

Dredging will take place offshore in the Atlantic Ocean Channel and a portion of the dredged material will be placed at the Virginia Beach Hurricane Protection Project location as well as Croatan Beach.

This channel deepening will provide economic benefits to the Port of Virginia, the region, and the Nation by enabling more efficient movement of commodities, said USACE.

Also, the placement of the dredged material is set to provide storm risk management benefits to citizens and businesses of Virginia Beach.

This is the third of three USACE channel deepening contracts awarded as part of the Norfolk Harbor and Channels 55-ft. Deepening Project.

Earlier contracts include the channel to Newport News and Norfolk Harbor Inner Channel in one combined contract, and the Atlantic Ocean Channel Phase 1.

USACE’s cost-sharing partner in the channel-deepening project, VPA, has already issued contracts for deepening and widening Thimble Shoal Channel in the Chesapeake Bay.

With the completion of this contract for the Atlantic Ocean Channel, Phase 2, in 2025, the channels will be available at the minimum 55-ft. depth for use by deeply laden ultra-large container vessel (ULCVs) and large colliers calling on the Port of Virginia, said USACE.