The Port of Hueneme’s Board of Harbor Commissioners has unanimously approved the signing of an agreement with the US Army Corps of Engineers to deepen the port’s general navigation areas from 35 feet to 40 feet.
Deepening the general navigation areas of the port is expected to improve efficiency and allow ocean carriers to more fully utilize the cargo capacity of their vessels.
“Bringing the port to 40 feet marks a significant game changer for the port,” CEO and Port Director Kristin Decas said.
Under the agreement, the port is to contribute 35 percent of the cost for the $8 million project, while the Army Corps funds the balance.
The board’s approval, which came in late February, starts the process of finalizing the design, engineering and environmental reviews, providing the building blocks that would lead to the construction phase of the deepening project later this year.
The deepening and associated wharf enforcement projects are estimated to create hundreds of new jobs and attract larger vessels with increased capacities that are estimated to result in more than 200,000 tons annually in more cargo.
“Moving forward with the deepening project will enhance the Port of Hueneme’s competitiveness, help to bring in new business, and ultimately boost Ventura County’s economy and create jobs in our region,” Congresswoman Julia Brownley (D-CA) said in a prepared statement. “I am so pleased to support this critical infrastructure project, and look forward to continuing to work with Kristin Decas and the Port of Hueneme commissioners.”