The Philadelphia Regional Port Authority (PRPA) said a project to deepen the Delaware River shipping channel from 40 feet to 45 feet is now about 60 percent complete.
PRPA said in late May work was completed on "Reach D," an 11-mile stretch of the river.
“After years of discussions and hurdles, it’s wonderful to finally see steady progress on this critical project,” said PRPA Chairman Charles G. Kopp, in a 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.”
Since the first dredge vessel began work in spring of 2010, “Reach C” (12 miles); a 4-mile stretch of “Reach B”; and most of the 11 miles comprising “Reach A” have already been completed. The total length of the channel is 102 miles.
The deepening project is being performed by the Army Corps of Engineers in partnership with PRPA and private dredging contractors that are selected through a public bidding process. More information on the project can be found at a Corps Website.
PRPA said it is working to secure the remaining funding needed to complete the project. The next portion of the project, “Reach E” in the Delaware Bay, has recently been advertised and is scheduled for award this summer. - Chris Dupin