The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Galveston District, awarded a contract in the amount of $5.5 million to Orion Marine Construction Inc., for the maintenance dredging of the Channel to Harlingen and the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (GIWW) in Willacy and Cameron counties, Texas.
“The Port of Harlingen is an important link in the comprehensive transportation network of the Rio Grande Valley and plays a critical role in moving bulk cargo and petroleum products via the Channel to Harlingen and the GIWW between the valley and points as far north as New York and south to Mexico,” said Operations Manager Seth Jones, USACE Galveston District. “This dredging contract is critical to keeping these channels open for commercial waterborne commerce.”
The GIWW is an essential component of the state’s and nation’s transportation network and is recognized as the country’s third busiest inland waterway, with the Texas portion handling 63 percent of its traffic. The 423-mile Texas portion enables the transport of more than 73 million short tons of cargo annually valued at $28 billion with approximately 87 percent classified as petroleum and petrochemical-related products (2010).
According to Jones, the contractor is required to remove approximately 939,000 cubic yards of material from the Channel to Harlingen and the GIWW beginning in September and scheduled for completion in December 2014. Dredged material from the Channel to Harlingen will be deposited in Channel to Harlingen placement areas (PA) 2, 8, 15 and 23 with material from the GIWW placed in PA 221A.