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Harbor Navigation

Important to the Nation:
Container Terminals with massive cranes dot the landscape of the New York and New Jersey Harbor, providing goods to more than 21 million people locally. As the largest port on the East Coast, it provides more than 230,000 jobs to the region.
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But its natural depth is between 15 and 18 feet. Without deepening, it would be impossible to provide access to the large container ships that currently call at the Port. For many years the Corps of Engineers, authorized by the United States Congress, has deepened the port to meet industry demand while providing safe and efficient navigation in the harbor.

Today, current channels within the harbor range in depths from 35 to 45 feet. The Corps, along with cost share sponsors such as the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the states of New York and New Jersey, has several construction projects underway to deepen the harbor 50 feet.

Why Deepen the Port?
Throughout the years, the shipping industry has created wider vessels that require deeper drafts to transport the maximum amount of goods in the most efficient manner. Today, this new generation of vessels requires channel depths in excess of 45 feet.
The Corps and the Port Authority began deepening the Harbor in the mid 90s to meet industry demand. The approach has been a phased deepening project, which will ultimately result in the construction of 50-foot channels.

Comparison of Ships' size - click to enlarge image
Comparison of Ships size (Click on image for large view)

What is the status of the deepening projects?
Kill Van Kull & Newark Bay Channels - The main artery that links Upper Harbor of New York Bay to Newark Bay providing access to Port Elizabeth and Port Newark. There were a total of eight contracts awarded with the final one completed in November 2004 bringing the channel from 40 to 45 feet. (Click here to view map). The $335 million project was cost shared with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and was completed on time and under budget.

The Kill Van Kull & Newark Bay Channels are currently open to 45-foot ships, although restricted to one-way passage.

Ongoing interim deepenings include:
Port Jersey Channel � The $120 million navigation project is located in the western side of the Upper Bay of New York Harbor and provides access to Global Container Terminal in Jersey City, New Jersey. The project area is divided into three contracts to deepen the 35-foot channel to 41 feet. To date, contract one is complete with the second near completion. With the issuance of the last remaining permit in September 2005, the third contract is scheduled to be advertised in November. This third contract will not only complete the cost-shared Port Jersey 41-foot channel project, but also advance the 50-foot Port Jersey channel segment of the Harbor Deepening Project with funding from the State of New Jersey as part of consolidated implementation. (Click here to view map). The third contract is scheduled to be complete in August 2008.

Arthur Kill Channel to Howland Hook (NY Container Terminal) - The $200 million navigation project is located in northern end of the Arthur Kill. The project area is divided into four contract areas and will deepen the 35-foot channel to 41 feet to New York Container Terminal in Staten Island and 40 feet to the TOSCO refinery south of the Goethals Bridge . (Click here for Map of Arthur Kill) . The overall project is scheduled to be complete in 2008 (2006 to New York Container Terminal).

NY & NJ Harbor Deepening (50 feet):
This is a $1.6 billion project that will deepen the following channels to 50 feet in order to allow the safe and economically efficient passage of the newest container ships serving the Port of NY & NJ:

� Ambrose Channel
� Anchorage Channel
� Kill Van Kull Channel
� Newark Bay Channels
� The Port Jersey Channel
� Arthur Kill (to Howland Hook)
� Bay Ridge Channel

There are 15 construction contracts planned in order to complete this project. The first Corps contract was awarded in March 2005 for the Kill Van Kull Channel, S-KVK-2. Dredging for this contract started west of the Bayonne Bridge and will work east through the channel. Since the area along Bergen Point is made up of diabase rock, drilling and blasting will be required (Click here for information regarding drilling and blasting program). Drilling and blasting will start 8 Aug and will continue for 24 months. (Click here to view map).

The second contract, which is the first of two for Ambrose Channel, was awarded on
28 Sep 05. This contract will dredge sand from the western side of the Ambrose Channel, and when completed, will provide one-way 50 foot channel to the rest of the project area. The sand from this project will be used in a variety of beneficial ways such as remediation of the Historic Area Remediation Site, restoration of an island in Jamaica Bay and as capping material at the Liberty State Park.

Click here for contract area maps.

For questions regarding the Port of New York and New Jersey Harbor web page, please contact the Public Affairs Office.


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Drilling & Blasting Schedule & Information

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