Two more steps closer to 45 feet
Since construction to deepen the main shipping channel from 40 to 45 feet was initiated in 2010, approximately $165 million of federal and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania funds have been contributed to the project.
In addition to the contract awarded last December to complete the deepening of Reach A - from the Philadelphia International Airport to Whitman Bridge - by November of this year, construction bids have now been opened for two additional sections of the channel. On April 29, the low bidder, at approximately $25 million, will be awarded the contract to deepen Reach AA of the channel between the Ben Franklin and Walt Whitman Bridges. Construction on this phase is scheduled to begin in September and be completed by March of 2015. And on May 1, the Corps opened bids, currently being evaluated, for the contract to deepen Reach E, the area from the beginning of the Bay northward approximately 16 miles. Sand removed will be placed at Broadkill Beach in Delaware. In order to ensure an adequate availability of hopper dredge equipment to coordinate with the ongoing beach replenishment projects along the east coast associated with Hurricane Sandy, the window to complete this phase of the project has been extended from September 2014 thru March 2016. "These are important next steps to bring this project to completion within the next three years," said Charles Kopp, Esq., chairman of the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority. "Perhaps of greater importance is that the completion of this vital project will stimulate hundreds of millions of dollars in new port infrastructure projects throughout the Delaware River regional port complex while protecting and creating thousands of good paying family sustaining jobs."