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Richmond Marine Terminal’s $6 million in upgrades nearly complete, port official says

An aerial shot of the Richmond Marine Terminal. The Richmond Marine Terminal has not received an increase in traffic volume in the wake of the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse in Baltimore County, Maryland.

Posted on May 6, 2024

The Richmond Marine Terminal has not seen an increase in traffic following the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse in Maryland, although several improvement projects already underway are nearing completion.

Six people died in the March 26 collapse of the Key Bridge in Baltimore County. Most of the port was blocked for imports and exports.

The Virginia International Gateway in Portsmouth has received cargo diverted from Baltimore. The facility will process approximately 20,000 container units in April normally headed to Baltimore, according to Joe Harris, Port of Virginia spokesman. The cargo is moving out of the terminal by truck.

Diversions will continue until late May, early June, according to Harris. This is when the Port of Virginia expects the Baltimore port to reopen.

The Port of Virginia manages six terminals, including the Richmond Marine Terminal. Cargo is moved from Portsmouth by barge to Richmond’s inland terminal about three times a week, Harris said.

“There’s very minimal, if any impact at all, at Richmond Marine Terminal,” Harris said about the Key Bridge collapse.

The Gateway Investment Program will spend over a billion dollars to expand overall capacity and cargo handling capabilities for the Port of Virginia.

“We’re spending $1.4 billion to add capacity, to optimize operations, to further modernize operations and really get ready for the future,” Harris said.

A $450 million effort to deepen the channel in Portsmouth will set the Port of Virginia apart from others in the region. The channel will be 55 feet deep upon completion — the deepest port along the U.S. East Coast, according to Harris.

The channel’s widening effort is complete, and the deepening effort will be completed early next year. The expansion will support increased volume at the inland facilities, including RMT and the Virginia Inland Port in Front Royal County.

Improvement projects at the RMT were expected to be complete by the first quarter of 2024, according to a Port of Virginia press release. Those projects are nearing their end, Harris said.

“The improvements being made at Richmond Marine Terminal are part of a larger package of improvements that we’re making throughout the port,” Harris said.

The RMT will gain approximately $6 million in upgrades such as a new, fenced drop lot. It will allow drivers to leave their containers on site in a secure facility after business hours. Gate upgrades are also underway.

Improvements will bolster security and also help to process drivers through the gate faster, according to Harris.

“There’s an efficiency effort underway there,” he said.


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