NORFOLK, Va. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is recommending a $321 million project to deepen the Norfolk Harbor and entrance channels to 55 feet, according to a new report and assessment.
The report also recommends widening portions of the Thimble Shoals Channel from 1,000 feet to 1,200 feet.
Both recommendations were made based on future forecasts of larger vessels calling on the Port of Virginia. The report says the cargo transportation industry’s marine vessel fleet is trending to larger, deeper-draft vessels.
The Norfolk Harbor currently sits at about 50 feet and 1,000 feet wide, and 52 feet in the Atlantic Ocean Channel.
The report also recommends deepening the Atlantic Ocean Channel to 59 feet, and deepening the Thimble Shoals Channel to 56 feet.
The feasibility study was was conducted by the U.S Army Corps of Engineers in partnership with the Virginia Port Authority to determine whether improvements to the harbor project are in the federal interest.
An environmental assessment was also completed to determine what potential environmental impacts the project would have. No significant impacts were found and all dredging operations would comply with the Clean Water Act.