US Army Corps of Engineers
Norfolk District

Norfolk Harbor Navigation Improvements

Published April 30, 2018

Project Scope: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Virginia Port Authority completed an integrated General Reevaluation Report and Environmental Assessment (GRR) on June 29, 2018, which recommended the Norfolk Harbor Navigation Channels be widened and deepened to accomodate larger and deeper ships making port calls in Hampton Roads. The Norfolk Harbor and Channels Federal Navigation project consists of a network of federally-improved channels extending from the Atlantic Ocean, through the Chesapeake Bay, and into the Port of Hampton Roads.

Norfolk Harbor and Channel-Elizabeth River Southern Branch Dredging Map
SLIDESHOW | 3 images | Norfolk Harbor and Channel-Elizabeth River Southern Branch Dredging Map
The GRR allows for reformulation of the originally authorized plan for the Norfolk Harbor Navigation Improvements project, as appropriate, to develop a new alternative for implementation. The study evaluated a range of channel dimensions, including deepening and widening. 

An Army Corps of Engineers Chief's Report was delivered to Congress for consideration and potential inclusion in the next Water Resources Development Act on July 2, 2018.

Authorization: Section 201 of the Water Resources Development Act of 1986 (Public Law 99-662) authorized the construction of the Norfolk Harbor and Channels, Virginia, Project, as described in House Document 99-85, dated 18 July 1985, entitled “Norfolk Harbor and Channels, Virginia.”

Project Sponsor: The USACE is the lead federal agency for this study and the Commonwealth of Virginia, acting through its Agent, the Virginia Port Authority, is the non-federal sponsor for the study.

Project Study Area: Norfolk Harbor (sometimes referred to as the Port of Hampton Roads) is located in the southeastern part of the Commonwealth of Virginia at the southern end of Chesapeake Bay, midway on the Atlantic Seaboard (approximately 170 miles south of Baltimore, Maryland, and 220 miles north of Wilmington, North Carolina). The harbor is formed by the confluence of the James, Nansemond, and Elizabeth rivers. The land area surrounding the harbor encompasses approximately 1,500 square miles and includes the cities of Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, and Virginia Beach, as well as Hampton and Newport News on the north side and Isle of Wight County on the south side.

Project Point of Contact Information: For more information on the study, please contact the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Norfolk District, 803 Front Street, Norfolk, Virginia, 23510-1096.


Project News

Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works Visits Norfolk Harbor
5/23/2019
The Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works, the Honorable R.D. James, traveled to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Norfolk District on May 9 to meet with Virginia Port Authority leaders. ...
USACE, Port of Virginia ramp up Norfolk Harbor deepening efforts
1/24/2019
NORFOLK, Va. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Virginia Port Authority are proceeding with design measures to expand Norfolk Harbor’s shipping channels, which will improve navigation and energize...
U.S. Army Corps Advances Port’s Wider, Deeper, Safer Effort; 55-Foot Target Depth Approved
7/3/2018
The effort to make The Port of Virginia the deepest and safest port on the U.S East Coast continues to advance as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers today issued its critical, final authorization to...