The Port of Corpus Christi Authority (PCCA) Commission at a special meeting on Friday approved a Project Partnership Agreement (PPA) with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the deepening and widening of the Corpus Christi Ship Channel.
The CC Ship Channel Improvement Project (CIP) will widen the CC Ship Channel to 530 feet plus additional barge shelves to allow for two way vessel and barge traffic in tandem, and deepen the CC Ship Channel to 54 feet MLLW (Mean Lower Low Water) to allow for safe passage of deep draft large vessels.
Upon the execution of the PPA, Port Commissioners also approved the acceleration of $32 million in port funds to the USACE to expedite initial construction phases of the project.
“The widening and deepening of the Corpus Christi Ship Channel and construction of barge shelves are needed to guarantee continued economic growth for South Texas and Port Corpus Christi and for ensuring the safety of port operations. The Corpus Christi Ship Channel Improvement Project is critical to the Texas economy, and the Nation’s movement toward global energy dominance,” said Charles W. Zahn, Chairman of the Port Corpus Christi Commission.
The CC Ship Channel Improvement Project was initially authorized by Congress under the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2007. Congress re-authorized the CC Ship Channel Improvement Project in WRDA 2014, and reaffirmed its commitment to the project under the WIIN 2016 Act (Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act).
“The signing of this Project Partnership for the Port of Corpus Christi Channel Improvement Project is a monumental opportunity for the Port of Corpus Christi and will help generate jobs and the economy in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. The Galveston District is proud to undertake this significant project with our non-federal sponsor,” said Colonel Lars N. Zetterstrom, Commander of the Galveston District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
The entire project is estimated to cost an estimated $327 million with the USACE proportionate cost-share projected to be $225 million and the PCCA proportionate cost-share projected at $102 million.