Port of Baltimore Could Come Out on Top After Panama Canal Expansion

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So they’re making the Panama Canal bigger. Capacity will double, and will be able to accommodate vessels with three times the cargo by 2015. And ports on the East Coast are freaking out. Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is putting $1 billion toward raising the Bayonne Bridge to make way for the taller ships. Railroad company Norfolk Southern is blowing bigger holes in mountains across several states so trains double-stacked with cargo from eastern ports can pass.

But Port of Baltimore is also poised to benefit from the canal expansion. The harbor’s deep enough to accept the larger ships — so no dredging needed. The Howard Street tunnel can’t fit the trains new trains, but railroad company CSX is leaving the dynamite at home. They’re just going to build a brand new, $90 million rail transfer facility.

So great is the excitement about this potential boon to East Coast ports, you’d almost think it was 100 years ago, when we celebrated consumption and human-altered landscapes with less guilt — before “green” was a political buzzword, and before we lost all our manufacturing jobs.


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