Port expansion projects move ahead
The Port of Virginia’s aim to become the deepest port on the East Coast continues apace, even during the COVID-19 outbreak. The $350 million project to dredge the Norfolk Harbor started more than two years early in December 2019. Meanwhile, the Virginia International Gateway (VIG) in Portsmouth and the Norfolk International Terminals (NIT) are both undergoing expansions, as are inland port projects, to accommodate more imports and exports. Here are more details about the projects:
Norfolk International Terminals
- Following the VIG phase, it’s now the NIT’s turn in phase two of the $700 million terminal expansion project.
- The project includes 18 more container stacks and 36 rail-mounted gantry cranes, which arrived earlier this year.
- Annual container capacity to expand 46%, or 400,000 units, when complete.
- The port has purchased 25 hybrid shuttle carriers in a $23 million contract with Kalmar, part of Cargotec Corp., with delivery set
for July 2020.
- In spring 2020, the port was in the engineering phase to modernize the central rail yard.
Virginia Inland Port
- VIP received $15.5 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation in December 2018 to increase terminal capacity in Front Royal.
- The projects include the addition of three long loading tracks, two hybrid straddle carriers and a new highway bridge grade separation.
- Final design of the project took place in early 2020, with construction scheduled to start later in the year.
Technology (at both terminals)
- The Truck Reservation System, started in 2018, manages trucks moving to and from NIT and VIG.
- Earlier in 2020, 92% of all trucks had turn times of less than an hour, and 55% were under 40%.
- NIT averages 567 reservations per day, and VIG averages 765.
Richmond Marine Terminal
- In March 2019, the Virginia Express, a second river barge, was put into service.
- U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) has granted the port $1.8 million to expand transportation between Richmond Marine Terminal and the Norfolk Harbor.
- The project is also expected to reduce congestion on Interstate 64.
Virginia International Gateway
- Started in February 2017, a $320 million project to expand capacity at the VIG container terminal was completed in July 2019.
- The project includes four, 170-foot-tall ship-to-shore cranes and 26 rail-mounted gantry cranes.
- Terminal’s annual throughput capacity expanded to 1.2 million container lifts.