The project is comprised of three main sections: a 4,700-foot-long, 60-foot-wide east channel, a 400-foot by 400-foot turning basin and a 60-foot-wide west channel split into a 1,000-foot-long and a 600-foot-long section. The depth of the project is maintained between 7 to 9 feet depending on location within the channels.
The Tangier Channels Federal Navigation Project was authorized by the River and Harbor Act of 2 March 1919 and modified by the P.W.A. Acts of 3 January 1934 and 30 August 1935 and the River and Harbor Act of 2 March 1946.
The project was also modified in 1964 under Section 107 of the River and Harbor Act of 14 July 1960 to provide for a channel from the basin through Tangier Creek westward to the Chesapeake Bay.
The Tangier Channels Federal Navigation Project provides for a safe navigation channel for commercial waterman, tour boats, supply vessels and pleasure craft through the island of Tangier, Va. in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay.
The channel creates an estimated $130,000 in benefits each year. Since construction in 1967, it has provided over $3 million in transportation savings, increased crab production, and provided access to a harbor of refuge.
It also serves a geographically unique and historic section of Virginia.