Importance of Houston Ship Channel Widening Highlighted

Chairman of Houston Port Commission, Ric Campo, joined Chief of Engineers and Commanding General of USACE, Lt. Gen. Todd T. Semonite, on a helicopter tour of the Houston Ship Channel recently, witnessing first-hand the busiest ship channel in the nation and the constant vessel activity it experiences every day.

Image source: Port Houston

During the tour, Campo reiterated the importance of the visit by the Army Corps of Engineers team supports Port Houston’s “focused effort” to achieve federal authorization to widen the Houston Ship Channel to accommodate better the larger vessels that will be calling the port.

Actions taken by the Port Commission during its regular meeting further supported its mission to secure federal authorization for improving the channel.

The Port Commission approved $300,000 in additional funding for the Houston Ship Channel Expansion Channel Improvement Project Feasibility Study.

“The deepening and widening project remains our #1 priority, and we will continue to press for the fastest path to authorization through completion,” said Port Houston Executive Director Roger Guenther.

The improvement study formally began in October 2015, when the Army Corps of Engineers and Port Houston entered into a $10 million agreement (cost-shared 50/50) to complete that work over the following four years.

The amendment allows for the study to be completed, as it adds the “locally preferred plan,” a recommendation for fully widening the entire Galveston Bay reach, to allow future vessel generations to transit the channel freely.