NORFOLK (NNS) -- Dredging operations, deepening portions of the Elizabeth River from Lambert's Point in Norfolk, Va., to the Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth, will begin April 15.
The Norfolk District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is overseeing the approximately $20 million project that will allow the Navy's nuclear powered aircraft carriers to traverse from Norfolk Naval Station to the Norfolk Naval Shipyard safely at all times of the day.
"The dredging is necessary to eliminate the risk of the nuclear-powered aircraft carriers damaging their ballast water intakes, as well as grounding and possible hull damage." said Raad Humadi, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Mid-Atlantic project manager.
For three tenths of a mile, from Lamberts Point to the Navy Deperming Station, a 600-foot-wide portion of the federal navigation channel will be deepened from 40 to 50 feet. Another four-and-half-mile, 600-foot-wide portion of the channel from the deperming station to the naval shipyard will be deepened from 40 feet to 47 feet.
"This will allow us to meet the current requirements for ships entering and exiting into the Lambert's Point Deperming Station, allowing the carriers safe transit into and out of the Deperming Facility," said Humadi. "The other reach of the project allows the carrier safe transit to and from Norfolk Naval Shipyard for repairs and overhauls."
The Corps' contractor, Norfolk Dredging Company from Chesapeake, Va., will start dredging operations at Lamberts Point and work their way to the naval shipyard during the next 18 months, removing approximately three million cubic yards of material. The dredged material will be pumped into the district's Craney Island Dredge Material Management Area in Portsmouth, Va.
For more news from Naval Facilities Engineering Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/navfachq/.