Dredged container berth means Port of Baltimore can welcome two mega-ships at once

Port of Baltimore completes dredging operation

The Port of Baltimore has dredged a second 50-foot-deep container berth at the Seagirt Marine Terminal as part of its wider investment to increase capacity and make operations more efficient.

In a statement, the Maryland Port Administration (MPA) said the project has been accomplished as part of a public-private partnership and will allow the Port to accommodate two ultra-large ships simultaneously by the end of 2021.

With the berth completed, four additional neo-Panamax cranes will arrive at the Port and be operational later in the year.

The berth project is part of $122.1 million investment, with $105 million coming from Ports America, $10.5 million from the state and $6.6 million from the federal government.

Governor Larry Hogan said the completion of the berth will “significantly grow business” at the Port and “generate thousands of jobs in the Baltimore region”.

The completion of the berth comes shortly after the planned expansion of the Howard Street Tunnel near the Port, which will accommodate double-stacked rail cars moving cargo to and from the Port and improve capacity.

That project is also part of a public-private investment between the federal government, the state of Maryland, CSX and others. Pending final National Environmental Policy Act approval, CSX will complete final engineering and permitting, with construction expected late in 2021.

MPA Executive Director William P. Doyle said the projects show the Port is “moving forward”.

“We appreciate the on-time and on-budget dredging work completed by Maryland-based Corman Kokosing, a great U.S.-flag dredging and marine construction operator.

“This summer we’ll welcome four new Neo Panamax cranes and later this year we’ll break ground on the Howard Street Tunnel project, giving the Port and CSX double stack capability north, south and all the way out to Chicago. These are very exciting times for the Port of Baltimore.”

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 MPA said it has generated thousands of jobs and continues to result in increased tax revenue for the state and funds for the Transportation Trust Fund.

Ports America Chesapeake Vice President Bayard Hogans, said, “We’re very excited to be moving forward on this project which will greatly enhance container operations at the Port of Baltimore.

”Ports America Chesapeake is also making other significant investments in upgrades at Seagirt Marine Terminal including additional yard equipment, new truck gates, and advanced technology.

“All of these initiatives are contributing to increasing the Port’s capacity and efficiency — and ultimately support future growth.”

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