The Delaware River Main Channel Deepening Project is now about 60 percent finished, following the completion of Reach D, an 11-mile stretch of the Delaware River’s main shipping channel in Delaware, according to Philadelphia Regional Port Authority officials.
The deepening project, funded by the federal government and its local sponsor, PRPA, will ultimately deepen 102 miles of the river’s shipping channel to 45 feet. It is being performed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in partnership with PRPA and private dredging contractors that it selects through a public bidding process.
“After years of discussions and hurdles, it’s wonderful to finally see steady progress on this critical project,” said Charles G. Kopp, PRPA chairman, in a written statement. “A deeper shipping channel will allow us to welcome a wider variety of cargo vessels to the Port of Philadelphia. Other ports are also deepening their channels, and it is so important that we do so, as well.”
The first dredge vessel began work in the spring of 2010. Reach C, which is 12 miles long; Reach B, which is 4 miles long; and most of the 11 miles of Reach A have been completed.