Warner, Kaine ask Army Corps to fund Craney Island expansion

CRANEY ISLAND, Va. – Virginia’s U.S. Senators want the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to consider funding the construction of the Craney Island Eastward Expansion, efforts that will nearly double the cargo capacity of the Port of Virginia.

“This project has national implications for commerce throughout the eastern half of the country, said the joint letter from Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, which was sent to R.D. James, the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works).

Kaine and Warner are hoping that the granted funding for the Craney Island marine terminal would allow for up to  $52 million over a full fiscal year to not only expand the cargo shipments that the Port of Virginia can hold, but also allow for the expansion and better connection between the port and the recently opened Heartland Rail Corridor from Hampton Roads.

The initial funding for the project came in 2007 and was authorized by WRDA at a 50 percent cost-share and has an active Project Partnership Agreement between the Corps and the Commonwealth of Virginia.

With being the only east coast port authorized to dredge 55-foot channels with 57-foot sea-lane approach, post-Panamax cargo vessels are projected to account for 62 percent of container ship capacity by 2030.

According to the letter from the Senators, investment in this project leverages future federal and non-federal investments in channel deepening and widening projects, as well as $1.5 billion in non-federal investment to construct the marine terminal.

The Limited Reevaluation Report approved in December 2015 recognized a 10 percent federal budget policy increase from 4 percent to 14 percent. of total project cost. The FY16 work plan included $4.1 million for the project, which along with a #3 million reprogramming approved last September, is to date the only funding it has received since FY12.

To see the full letter from Kaine and Warner, click hre.