HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) — The Port of Virginia is digging itself into a deep hole — and Sen. Mark Warner is thrilled.
The hole is actually dredging, which will make the Port of Virginia the deepest port on the East Coast.
“This really is the economic future of the commonwealth,” Warner told WAVY.com.
He is excited about possibilities at the Port of Virginia.
The dredging project, now underway at Thimble Shoal Channel, will eventually accommodate two ultra-large container vessels simultaneously.
” … and [it] also will help our Navy because the big thing is going wider allows two-way traffic so we don’t have to wait to bring ships in or take ships out,” Port of Virginia CEO John Reinhart told us.
Reinhart said phase one of the project is on schedule and on budget. The businessman in Warner loves that, as well as the port’s new partnership with wind energy.
Last month, the port agreed to lease space for windmill parts.
Warner said that will create jobs in Hampton Roads and across the country.
“Those will be great quality, high-end, 21st-century manufacturing jobs,” he said.
As Warner and Reinhart are optimistic about the future. They’re concerned, however, about the negative impact coronavirus is creating at the port now.
“The coronavirus has just shut down China and so there’ s not a lot of activity coming and going and they’ve been our biggest trade partner so its having an adverse effect on all ports in the United States,” Reinhart said.
He admits some workers could see their hours cut in the near future.
It’s frustrating for Warner.
“I’m not sure we’re out of the woods yet. I don’t think the Chinese government has been as forthcoming,” Warner said. That, he said, makes it hard to plan in Hampton Roads and at ports around the world.
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