The VPA will enter a US$39.5 million contract with Great Lake Dredge and Dock Company for the Thimble Shoal Channel East Project, which would deepen the eastern portion of the channel to 55 feet from its current 50-foot depth.
The Thimble Shoal Channel leads from the Atlantic Ocean Channel into Virginia's four container terminals and can collectively handle 4.8 million TEU.
Along with dredging, the channel will be widened to allow the simultaneous passage of two 14,000-TEU ships in opposite directions.
While the Thimble Shoal projects are being funded through state bonds, the Inner Harbor is being funded through the federal budget.
'Obviously, that budget still has to get through House and Senate. It's hugely encouraging to us that the project has been called out as being worthy of being in the budget,' said VPA chief executive Stephen Edwards.