Craney Island construction to begin in December

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The Virginia Port Authority will begin construction in December on a fourth marine terminal in Portsmouth.

The first phase of construction will focus on the 600-acre eastern expansion of Craney Island. Construction crews will begin building foundations for dikes that will be filled with dredged material from the Hampton Roads Harbor and nearby rivers. Work will be completed as financing becomes available.

“This is in preparation for the demand that is going to be placed on our facilities in 15 or so years,” VPA Executive Director Jerry Bridges said in a statement. “Building the land, so to speak, is the most demanding part of this project. But we have to get the site ready so when the demand hits, we can begin ordering cranes and pouring concrete for the terminal, which comparatively, are the easy parts.”

It is expected to cost $700 million to expand the site, with the federal government picking up half the cost. Last year, Congress appropriated $100,000 toward the project. U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., visited the port Friday to say he was optimistic he could get more money in next year’s project.

“Last year’s appropriation was a beginning and it was significant because the project made the budget, so the flow of federal money has started,” Warner said in a statement.

The total project is expected to cost $2.2 billion.

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