Corps of Engineers Rejects Request to Deepen Harbor

Blue outline is Cape Charles channel, maintained at 12-18 feet by the Army Corps of Engineers. Town requested the depth be 35 feet.

Blue outline is Cape Charles channel, maintained at 18 feet by the Army Corps of Engineers. The Town requested the depth be extended to 35 feet to benefit existing and potential businesses.

Cape Charles Wave

July 20, 2013

The Army Corps of Engineers has rejected a request by the Town of Cape Charles to deepen the Town’s outer harbor and channel.

The request was made in April 2012 by Town Manager Heather Arcos, who wrote: “During the past year businesses in the Harbor have lost significant contracts due to the lack of sufficient depth for moving goods from the Harbor.” Arcos did not specify which businesses were losing contracts.

In response, the Corps of Engineers performed a year-long feasibility study. On June 13, the Corps reported that only one business would benefit from deepening the channel: Bayshore Concrete.

To qualify for full Corps funding, at least two users must be identified. If Bayshore is the only user, it would be required to bear half the expense, which, including interest and maintenance of the channel, could exceed $245,000 annually.

According to the Corps report, Bayshore Concrete stated that it would be “financially unable to meet the single user obligation at this time.”

The Corps study identified three potential future commercial users of the Town Harbor: an aerospace defense contractor from Wallops Island, a small inland cruise ship company, and the Cape Charles Yacht Center, a boat maintenance and storage facility currently under construction. However, none of those potential users would require a deeper channel. [Read more…]