With its second 50-foot-deep container berth nearing completion and the long-awaited Howard Street Tunnel project advancing, the Port of Baltimore is moving ahead to offer further benefits from its propitious location.
“We are moving forward at the Port of Baltimore!” William P. Doyle, executive director of the Maryland Port Administration, enthusiastically told AJOT. “The Port of Baltimore is open for business, and we’ve got some really exciting projects coming down the pike that are going to take this port into the stratosphere.”
When the second 50-foot-deep berth at Baltimore’s Seagirt Marine Terminal becomes operational later this year, the port will be able to simultaneously accommodate two megacontainerships, according to Doyle, who cited the MPA’s mutually beneficial relationship with terminal operator Ports America Chesapeake.
“It’s a great partnership we have with Ports America, and Seagirt is going to become much more efficient and a better terminal overall,” said Doyle, who in July 2020 assumed the MPA helm from longtime leader James J. White.
The berth endeavor is the cornerstone of a $122.1 million investment at Seagirt, with Ports America Chesapeake contributing $105 million, $10.5 million coming from the State of Maryland and $6.6 million in federal funding. And the Ports America unit is investing an additional $61 million into Seagirt for more equipment, infrastructure enhancements and technology upgrades.
In April, Annapolis Junction, Maryland-based Corman Kokosing completed dredging on the new deepwater berth at Seagirt, and four neo-Panamax ship-to-shore cranes are slated to arrive this summer.
Another major quay project at the Port of Baltimore is fortifying roll-on/roll-off berths at the Dundalk Marine Terminal, the nation’s leading facility for handling vehicles and heavy farm and construction equipment.
“Ro/ro machinery, especially on the agriculture side, is getting larger and heavier, and this project is making a strong statement that we will continue to be able to handle that cargo,” said Doyle, who cited Dundalk’s direct-to-rail capabilities and the presence of four on-site auto processors. “We’ve got all the major ro/ro ocean carriers calling on Baltimore, and we’re looking forward to growing that business for our customers.”
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