Press Release -  9.25.2000

Delaware Port’s Dedicated Auto Berth Project - Update

The Delaware General Assembly recently approved and allocated $12.5 million in the Fiscal Year 2000 Bond Bill for the first phase of the construction of a dedicated automobile berth at the Port of Wilmington.  The Bond Bill Committee and the Port see a dedicated auto and RoRo cargo berth as key to improving quality handling for Wilmington’s existing auto customers as well as attracting potential new auto manufacturers and auto carrier shipping lines.

The selected location for the new berth will be approximately 800 feet off shore in the Delaware River near the northern Port boundary and parallel to the north-south shoreline.  The berth will be approximately 875 feet long, about 115 feet wide and supported on piles.  A dedicated causeway and access roadway will connect the berth to 

a 10-acre vehicle staging area and to the auto terminal & processing facilities.  These dedicated roads and facilities will insure both timely discharge and loading and the safe handling of the vehicles.

Moffatt & Nichol Engineers, the engineering consultant who are leading the effort for the design and permitting for the new auto berth, has completed the design to the 30 percent level.  Design criteria is complete for the marine structures (berth and connecting trestle), access roadway and staging area.  Preparation of the final design to include drawings and specifications is in progress and scheduled for completion by December 2000.

Actual construction of the berth is envisioned to be accomplished under four separate contracts: 1) Site preparation for staging area; 2) Marine Structures; 3) Access Roadway; and, 4) Completion of staging area.  The Diamond State Port Corp. will be seeking bids for this work in the next few months.

It is anticipated that construction of the marine structures will begin with driving of piles in February or March 2001.  Driving of piles may be interrupted during the spring to comply with permit requirements related to the spawning of striped bass in the Delaware River.  Permitting for the project is on schedule, to meet all the environmental requirements.  Overall, project completion remains scheduled for the summer of 2002. 

The Port is confident that the dedicated auto carrier berth, in conjunction with the excellent service that the Port will continue to provide, will increase future auto & RoRo trade through the Port of Wilmington.

Founded in 1923, the Port of Wilmington is an important asset for the local and regional economy, generating over 4,900 jobs and contributing over $16 million in annual tax revenues to State and local government.  The Port is owned and operated by the Diamond State Port Corporation, a corporation of the State of Delaware.  For further information, digital photos, free tours of the Port and free speakers contact: Vered Nohi-Becker, Marketing Services Manager at the Port of Wilmington @ (302) 472-7819, e-mail: