The Helen Delich Bentley Port of Baltimore completed dredging operations this week to create a second, 50-foot deep container berth at its Seagirt Marine Terminal. The project, accomplished as part of the public-private partnership between the Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Port Administration (MDOT MPA) and Ports America Chesapeake, will allow the Port to accommodate two ultra-large ships simultaneously by the end of this year.
“Last month I visited the Port of Baltimore and witnessed dredging operations at Seagirt firsthand,” said Gov. Larry Hogan. “The completion of a second 50-foot deep berth, along with the upcoming expansion of the Howard Street Tunnel, will significantly grow business at the Port and generate thousands of jobs in the Baltimore region.”
Dredging, which began in January and concluded April 20, was conducted by Corman Kokosing of Annapolis Junction, The company used two dredges, Koko V and Koko VI, and the SN3 unloader barge to remove more than 465,000 cubic yards of sediment. The sediment was taken to the Masonville dredged material containment facility in Baltimore and will be reused for land restoration and other purposes.
With the second 50-foot deep berth completed, four additional Neo-Panamax cranes will arrive this summer and will be operational later this year. The berth project is part of a $122.1 million investment, with $105 million from Ports America, $10.5 million from the state and $6.6 million in federal funding. Ports America Chesapeake is also investing an additional $61 million into Seagirt for additional equipment, infrastructure enhancements and technology upgrades.
The planned expansion of the 126-year-old Howard Street Tunnel in Baltimore will accommodate double-stacked rail cars moving cargo to and from the Port, improving capacity from Baltimore to rail lines up and down the East Coast. That project is also benefitting from public-private investment between the federal government, Maryland, CSX and others. Pending final National Environmental Policy Act approval, CSX will complete final engineering and permitting, with construction expected late this year.
The public-private partnership between MDOT MPA and Seagirt operator Ports America Chesapeake was signed in 2010 in the wake of a national recession. The P3 has generated thousands of jobs and continues to result in increased tax revenue for the state and funds for the Transportation Trust Fund.