Freeport dredging deal signed

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Galveston District’ has announced the signing of a Project Partnership Agreement (PPA) with the Port Freeport Commission, effective June 23, 2020, for the Freeport Harbor Channel Improvement Project (FHCIP) to deepen and widen the Freeport Channel.

This project will contribute to the economic efficiency of commercial navigation in the region, said USACE.

The FHCIP will deepen and widen the channel to depths ranging from 51 to 56 feet Mean Lower Low Water. Deepening and widening the channel will offer many benefits to Port Freeport, including improved navigation and safety. Once complete, it will enable a safer, faster transit for larger ships than is currently possible–energizing the economy and adding value to the nation.

“Our partnership with Port Freeport is key to the success of this project,” said Col. Timothy R. Vail, commander at the USACE Galveston District. “The Freeport Harbor Channel Improvement Project offers economic benefits that will have an impact far beyond the Texas Coast. Improving the channel will encourage additional investment in southern Brazoria County, which will create more jobs and expand economic opportunities for local communities. The signing of the Project Partnership Agreement moves the project into the construction phase with contract award expected in September, dredging to begin in October, and completion in about 5 years.”

Authorized by Congress under the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2014, the FHCIP received $19 million in funding in the USACE FY 2020 Work Plan announced in February. It was one of only two seaports nationwide to receive a “new start” designation for commencement of construction.

The estimated total cost of the project is $295 million, with the federal government providing $165 million, and Port Freeport, as the local sponsor, providing $130 million.

Photo: Ron Wooten, USACE

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