The new 2012 federal budget awaiting President Obama’s signature contains $26.9 million in funding for the eastward expansion of Craney Island, the site of the Virginia Port Authority's fourth state-owned marine cargo terminal.
The total cost of the eastward expansion is $700 million and that will be done through a 50-50 cost-share agreement with the federal government. The projected cost for completion of multi-phase terminal project is $2.2 billion.
“This is the third consecutive year that the project has been supported by the federal government and I think that is a sign of the commitment to the project,” said Jeff Keever, the VPA’s senior deputy executive director.
Before any surface construction begins, the VPA must first expand the island by 600 acres to provide a site suitable for construction of a marine terminal. The terminal will be built in phases and the first phase is the 600-acre expansion.
In December 2010 work began on the first stage of developing the cross dikes. The work consists of dredging 3.2 million cubic feet of sand from the Atlantic Ocean Channel and building the initial sand lifts required to construct two cross dikes.
“We think that by this time next year we should begin seeing the outline of the project — the eastward expansion— breaking the waterline,” Keever said. “This is when the project will become real for a lot of people because they'll actually be able to see it; right now all the work is being done below the surface.”