A project to deepen and widen the commercial shipping channels serving Norfolk Harbor can now move forward after getting the necessary approval from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Port of Virginia said.
The Corps submitted its chief of engineers report, which was the final federal review for the Wider, Deeper, Safer project.
The dredging project will take the channels to 55 feet deep and widen them in select areas to allow for two-way traffic of ultra-large containerships.
Currently, the Port of Virginia has 50-foot channels and berths and is the only U.S. East Coast port with congressional authorization for 55-foot depth channels.
The Wider, Deeper, Safer project will be executed in two phases, the preliminary engineering and design ($20 million), which is expected to take 18 to 24 months, and the dredging phase ($330 million), which has a target completion date of 2024.
The Port of Virginia already has a request for proposals out for the engineering and design phase, a port spokesperson said Tuesday.