The Port of Virginia in the US has received federal funding for expansion works that would make it the deepest port on the nation’s East Coast.

The port has entered an agreement with the US Army Corps of Engineers for the work.

The project will include the broadening and deepening of commercial shipping channels and Norfolk Harbour.

Under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, or the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, a final federal funding instalment of $72m has been provided for the project.

In 2015, the federal government and the port agreed to a 50-50 cost share of the project. In December 2019, dredge work started for the project.

As part of the agreement, the port and Army Corps will work together to carry out the Norfolk Harbour expansion work.

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The agreement will also enable the Army Corps to utilise federal aid to award the project’s first construction contract.

Virginia Port Authority CEO Stephen Edwards said: “The importance of this moment in the evolution of The Port of Virginia cannot be overstated.

“This is a modern, 21st-century port and when you couple our land-based assets and capabilities with the deepest and widest channels – and safest harbour – on the entire US East Coast, you have a recipe for success here for decades to come.”

In order to facilitate two-way traffic of ultra-large boxships, the commercial shipping channels from the Atlantic Ocean and into the harbour will be widened and deepened to a minimum depth of 55ft.

The project is expected to help the port move more cargo and enhance efficiency at its terminals.

In 2019, Cargotec’s subsidiary Kalmar won a contract from the Port of Virginia for the supply of 25 hybrid shuttle carriers.