The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Galveston District, has awarded a contract in the amount of around $7 million to RLB Contracting Inc., for maintenance dredging of the Brownsville Ship Channel and Turning Basin and Port Isabel Channel and Turning Basin in Cameron County, Texas.
The contractor is required to remove two million cubic yards of shoal material, with material being placed in upland placement areas adjacent to both channels.
“Maintenance dredging will provide deep-draft access for pipe-laying vessel operations,” said Christopher Frabotta, chief of the USACE Galveston District’s Navigation Branch. “This contract will allow us to keep the channel open for navigation, which services the Port of Brownsville, ranked 73rd in the nation with respect to commercial tonnage (5.53 million tons total in 2013).”
According to Frabotta, the major commodities moved through the Port of Brownsville include: petroleum products, ores and minerals, steel and other metals, vegetable oils and grains. Ship breaking industries also are performed along the Brownsville Ship Channel.
Additionally, the Port of Port Isabel provides for lay down yards and berthing facilities which support the oil and gas production industry.
Work is expected to begin this month with an estimated completion date of December 2015.