Port of Virginia Capacity Expansion Project Passes Half-Way Point
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam says the ongoing expansion at The Port of Virginia is helping to drive the state’s economy and position Virginia as one of the nation’s leading business destinations.
“The future is bright for The Port of Virginia and to the benefit of all Virginians,” Northam said. “Between our infrastructure improvements at the port, our statewide initiatives in health care, transportation, education, technology and workforce development, we are creating a welcoming climate for companies who want to come to Virginia and have access to world markets. We have the components of a world-class business destination.”
Northam and Virginia Transportation Secretary Shannon R. Valentine were at Virginia International Gateway today to see the progress being made on the $320 million terminal expansion project there. They were joined by John G. Milliken, chairman of the Virginia Port Authority (VPA) Board of Commissioners and John F. Reinhart, the VPA’s CEO and executive director.
The VIG expansion will be complete in late spring 2019. Reinhart said the project has just passed the half-way mark. “The progress continues,” said Northam. “This project is on schedule and on budget. The work here will be complete in less than a year and all of this is being done as we handle record-setting amounts of cargo.”
The project’s progress to date includes delivery of new rail-mounted gantry cranes; six of the 13 new container stacks in service; 16 new shuttle trucks for the container operation have been delivered.
All substructure for 800 feet of additional berth is complete. Concrete for the berth’s main deck is being poured. Four new ship-to-shore cranes have been ordered and are set to arrive by year’s end and in service by February.
Construction on the first phase of the new rail yard complete. Two new cranes for the first phase have been delivered and tested. Work on the second phase is underway.
The motor carrier reservation system has been launched at the VIG gate. Construction of four additional lanes for motor carriers is underway. The N4 terminal operating system has been launched, uniting all of the terminal’s operations in a single system.
Valentine said the port is an important component in the modern transportation system being built in Virginia to support the safe, efficient and economical movement of people, cargo and commerce.
“We are building a 21st-century port and we will have 21st-century transportation system that supports multiple users,” Valentine said. “This ongoing coordination will help the port grow and drive our commonwealth’s economy for decades to come.”
Later this month, the US Army Corps of Engineers is expected to approve the final report needed to begin the preliminary work to dredge the Norfolk harbor’s shipping channels to 55 feet and widen them in selected areas. “The big ships are here and another generation of bigger vessels carrying more cargo seeking to take advantage of the deepest port on the US East Coast is right behind them,” Milliken said. “The improvements being made locally and across the state will be critical to the efficient flow of cargo and to the port’s success.”
The growth of the port, Northam said, will help drive the economy while building Virginia’s reputation as an international business destination. “Virginia is cementing its reputation as home to a world-class port,” Northam said. “That reputation will help to drive economic investment and job creation in every corner of this commonwealth. A world-class port does far more than just move containers, it moves the economy.”
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