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A $320 million expansion project has begun at the Virginia International Gateway (VIG), which will nearly double the terminal's annual cargo handling capability at the Port of Virginia, port officials announced yesterday.The project is the first of two large-scale expansions that, when completed, will increase the port's overall annual container capacity by 40 percent by 2020, port officials said in a press release.CSX and Norfolk Southern Railway provide on-dock rail service at the terminal.Survey crews began preparatory work yesterday to expand the rail/container stacking yard at VIG. The overall project will include expanding the container stacking yard, doubling the on-dock rail operation and expanding the truck gate."We are adding capacity now so we can handle the cargo that will be coming to us in the very near future," said Virginia Port Authority Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director John Reinhart. "The big ships are here — more are on the way — and they are carrying significant amounts of containers and Virginia will be ready to accommodate that volume."
The wharf project to create new berth space will begin March 15 and is scheduled for completion in the winter of 2018. A longer wharf will make way for four new Suez-class container cranes that will handle bigger ships and their cargo.
And in July, the port will begin work on another large capacity project: the expansion of the south stack/container yard at Norfolk International Terminals. That $350 million project will allow the port to create greater density for cargo at NIT and expand annual capacity there by 400,000 containers.