U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., and Rep. Bob Brady, D-Pa., joined with local officials at the Port of Philadelphia’s Packer Avenue Marine Terminal on Friday, Aug. 25 to announce that funding has been secured to complete the Delaware River Deepening Project.
The project, which has been in the works for 25 years, is deepening the shipping channel in the Delaware River from 40 to 45 feet to accommodate new and larger vessels. The Army Corps of Engineers announced in May that it would provide $29.25 million for the project in its fiscal year 2017 work plan.
The deepening of the channel was first authorized in 1992, but the project has stalled at times due to various legal and political setbacks, including a lack of federal funding.
In addition to deepening the existing Delaware River Federal Navigation Channel to 45 feet from Philadelphia and Camden, New Jersey, to the mouth of the Delaware Bay, the project includes bend widening, partial deepening of the Marcus Hook anchorage and relocation and addition of aids to navigation.
The $392 million project, under which dredging began in 2010, is scheduled for completion by the end of 2017. Once it’s complete, the seaport is expected to be able to handle vessels of up to 13,000 TEUs.
The Port of Philadelphia, which was rebranded as PhilaPort by the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority in May, says that once it starts handling larger vessel calls, state and local tax revenues are expected to increase from $69.6 million annually to about $108 million.
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