USACE Seeks Input on Freeport Harbor Report

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Galveston District, is inviting comments on the Draft Integrated General Reevaluation Report (DIGRR-EA) for the Tentatively Select Plan (TSP) of the Freeport Harbor Channel Improvement Project, Brazoria County, Texas.

USACE will accept written public comments or questions on the DIGRR-EA through May 11, 2017, the announcement said.

This DIGRR-EA evaluates modifications to the recommended plan from the Freeport Harbor Channel Improvement Project Final Feasibility Report and Environmental Impact Statement dated September 2012 (2012 Feasibility Report).

The plan was authorized for construction in Section 7002 of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014 (WRRDA 2014 Project).

The study purpose is to determine what modifications to the WRRDA 2014 Project are necessary to facilitate the safe and efficient navigation of the Panama design vessel around the Dow Thumb and to the Velasco Container Terminal.

Additionally, an economic update has been performed to determine whether the overall project as authorized is still in the Federal interest.

The DIGRR-EA study area is located on the middle Texas coast, bounded generally by the Brazos River on the west, Oyster Creek on the north and east, and the Gulf of Mexico on the south.

The project area for this DIGRR-EA is a subset of the authorized project study area. It is located immediately south of the City of Freeport, in Brazoria County, Texas.

The 2012 Feasibility Report identified the locally preferred plan (LPP) as the recommended plan, which was comprised of the following improvements referenced in mean lower low water (MLLW) datum:

  • Deepen the Outer Bar Channel into the Gulf of Mexico to 58 feet;
  • Deepen from the end of the Jetties in the Gulf of Mexico to the Lower Turning Basin to 56 feet;
  • Deepen from the Lower Turning Basin to Station 132+66 near the Brazosport Turning Basin to 56 feet;
  • Enlarge the Brazosport Turning Basin from 1,000-foot diameter to 1,200-foot diameter (Reach 1): Figure 1 – First Segment of Construction Project Area;
  • Deepen from Station 132+66, above the Brazosport Turning Basin, through the Upper Turning Basin to 51 feet;
  • Deepen and widen the lower 3,700 feet of the Stauffer Channel to 51 feet and 300 feet wide;
  • Dredge the remainder of the Stauffer Channel to 26 feet (previously authorized to 30 feet).