The project has provided a minimum depth of 76 feet (23.2 m) from two miles outside the harbour entrance at Queens Gate all the way into the Middle Harbour and East Basin, serving the crude oil terminal on Pier T and improving access for oil tankers. The deeper, wider channel and basin also provide additional, safer access for container ships.
About US$35m of the 17-month project’s cost was covered by the port, while US$2.6m came from the Army Corps of Engineers and US$2.4m from federal economic stimulus funds. The Corps also provided project construction management. Most of the dredge work was performed hydraulically, by equipment powered by on-shore electricity rather than diesel engines.
With completion of the dredging of the main channel and Middle Harbour turning basin, fully laden tankers can now come directly to berth without first stopping offshore to unload part of their cargo. Before, the turning basin was not deep enough to allow these tankers to enter the port fully loaded.