Press Releases

Webb, Warner, Scott, Nye Secure Funding to Initiate the Eastward Expansion of Norfolk's Craney Island

Inclusion of federal funds moves project into “construction” phase, making it eligible for future federal funds

Oct 01 2009

Washington, DC - Senators Jim Webb and Mark Warner, and Congressmen Bobby Scott and Glenn Nye today announced the inclusion of $100,000 in the Fiscal Year 2010 Energy and Water Appropriations bill to initiate the eastward expansion of Craney Island. Thursday’s inclusion of funds moves the project from the “planning” to “construction” phase, making it eligible for future federal funds.

The funding was originally included in the House appropriations bill by Congressmen Nye and Scott. To ensure that the funding was included in the final Energy and Water Appropriations Conference Report, Senators Webb and Warner sent a letter to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Appropriations and Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, citing, “the national significance of the Craney Island expansion project,” and noted that the, “completion of the Craney Island expansion project has clear benefits to the nation, facilitating more efficient transport of goods, and assisting in the mobilization of defense assets should a national emergency arise.”

“The expansion of Craney Island is critical to both the region’s economic growth and national defense,” said Senator Webb. “Today’s funding announcement opens the door to continued federal investment to keep this project on track while also creating jobs in the Norfolk area.”

“The Craney Island expansion is an ambitious and critically important infrastructure project not only for Hampton Roads and Virginia, but for the nation,” Senator Warner said. “I am pleased we have been able to turn-on the spigot to federal support for what will be a multi-year effort.”

“The Port of Virginia’s Craney Island is the only major East Coast port facility with the ability to increase its size at will, meaning that this project will provide endless business investment opportunities for the Hampton Roads economy that will create jobs,” said Congressman Nye.

The Port of Virginia is a gateway for international commerce and is one of thirteen U.S. strategic ports that support the mobilization and readiness of our national defense. The construction of the Craney Island Eastward Expansion project will allow the Virginia Port Authority to nearly double its marine terminal capacity and meet the anticipated demand in shipped goods to and from international ports.

This project will allow Virginia to provide the necessary infrastructure that connects into the broad and expansive nationwide rail network to accommodate for the influx in international trade. The Heartland Rail Corridor, which will connect the ports of Hampton Roads with the Midwest, is anticipated to come online in 2010. Additionally, with the expansion of the Panama Canal, scheduled to open in 2014, it is important that this project continues to move forward to meet the projected increasing demands in international trade.

Webb, Warner, Scott and Nye have stressed the importance of the Craney Island Eastward Expansion project remaining on schedule to open in 2017.

“This is pivotal because inclusion in the budget clears the way for federal money to begin flowing to the project,” J.J. Keever, the Virginia Port Authority’s senior deputy director said. “This project was authorized in November 2007 and less than two years after that we’re able to secure funding; that is incredible.

“It says a lot about the effort and commitment to this project put forth by Jim Webb, Mark Warner, Bobby Scott, and Glenn Nye. A lot of credit and thanks are owned to those people because they were the ones who imparted the importance of Craney Island on their colleagues.”