News & Updates

Port Tampa Bay Marks Completion of Big Bend Channel Expansion a Year Ahead of Schedule

- Port Tampa Bay

The Big Bend Channel Expansion is complete a year ahead of schedule. The $63 million milestone project, which deepened and widened the Big Bend Channel, will allow for larger ships to call at the terminals. It will ultimately reshape the area at Port Redwing into a vibrant distribution and manufacturing district, bringing millions of goods through the I-4 corridor, the fastest growing sector of the state.

“This is one of the largest projects we have worked on at Port Tampa Bay,” said Port Tampa Bay President/CEO Paul Anderson. “This is a legacy that truly reshapes our economic landscape and will impact generations to come.”

The U.S. Corps of Engineers’ Jacksonville District awarded the Big Bend contract to Great Lakes Dredge & Docks Company, which started project work in October 2018. Great Lakes completed dredging last week, a year ahead of schedule. It was slated as an 18-month project.

Funding for this project is supported by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Florida Department of Transportation, Port Tampa Bay and two of the largest Port users: Mosaic and Tampa Electric.

Port Redwing is approximately 270 acres of Port Tampa Bay property in southern Hillsborough County. The area is expected to develop into a major hub for warehousing and distribution within the next decade.

This area is served by the Big Bend Channel, which connects to the main channel in Tampa’s harbor. The channel serves separate private terminals for Mosaic and Tampa Electric.

The project deepened the entrance channel, east/west channel, inner channel, turning basin, and local service facilities at Big Bend from 34 to 43 feet. It widened the entrance channel from 200 to 250 feet for a length of 1.9 miles. It also deepened the existing turning basin to 43 feet, and expanded the existing turning basin to 1,200 feet.

The completion of this project coincides with the beginning of the annual migratory bird nesting season. Material dredged from the Big Bend Channel project was deposited on one of two port-owned 500-acre spoil islands in Hillsborough Bay. Port Tampa Bay environmental engineers, along with its partners at the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers and Audubon Florida, used the dredged material to create 100 acres of new nesting and roosting areas.

About Port Tampa Bay
Port Tampa Bay is Florida’s largest port, supporting nearly 85,000 jobs and generating over $18 billion in annual economic impact. In addition to being a top 10 U.S. cruise port, the port handles a wide array of bulk, break bulk, containers and roll-on/roll-off cargoes, and is a major shipbuilding and repair center. For more information, visit


Samara Sodos, Director of Public Relations
Port Tampa Bay
Cell: 813-468-9882