Port Freeport Commissioners Push for Channel Improvement Project
Port Freeport Commissioners have passed a resolution calling an election on May 5, 2018, on a ballot measure authorizing the port to issue up to $130 million in bonds for the Freeport Harbor Channel Improvement Project.
The proposed bond package, coupled with approximately $165 million in federal funds, would pay for the deepening and partial widening of the Freeport Harbor Channel and is intended to be accomplished without an increase in the port’s total tax rate, according to the official statement.
“The $130 million bond package will allow us to complete the Freeport Harbor Channel Improvement Project and make Port Freeport the deepest port in Texas,” said Phyllis Saathoff, Executive Director and CEO of Port Freeport.
“The entire federal cost-shared project, authorized by Congress in 2014, is estimated to cost approximately $295 million to construct, and more than half of this amount would be paid for with federal funds.”
The project will deepen the Freeport Harbor Channel from its current depth of 45 feet to authorized depths of 51 to 55 feet. Additionally, the project includes enhancements to the upper turning basin, as well as widening of the channel and lower bend, making it easier and safer for larger modern ships to navigate the channel.
The project construction is expected to begin in 2020 and take approximately five years to complete.