Port Freeport hosts USACE Commander

Port Freeport hosted USACE Southwestern Division Commander and Division Engineer Brig. Gen. Christopher G. Beck, Director of Programs for the Southwestern Division Pete Perez, Galveston District Commander Col. Timothy R. Vail, and other USACE officials last week to showcase growth and strategic initiatives being implemented at Port Freeport.

This was the inaugural visit to Port Freeport for Brig. Gen. Beck, who assumed command of the Southwestern Division in June.

Port Freeport is one of only two seaports nationwide to have received a “new start” designation in February 2020 for commencement of construction on its Freeport Harbor Channel Improvement Project.

This project is a federal cost-share project authorized by Congress in 2014 to deepen the channel to depths ranging from 51 to 56 feet Mean Lower Low Water and widen one channel section making way for larger, deeper-draft vessels to call Port Freeport.

The first dredging contract for the project was awarded by USACE in September 2020 and dredging will commence in January 2021.

“We have a strong and impactful partnership with Port Freeport,” Brig. Gen. Beck said. “It is great to be here to discuss, not only what we are doing today, but how we can strategically prepare for the future.”

Port Freeport also provided a briefing and tour to USACE dignitaries.

Despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Port Freeport has seen more sailings this year than ever before and expects to conclude 2020 with over 1,100 vessel calls.

“General Beck’s visit to Port Freeport acknowledges the impact our port has on global commerce and helps to further solidify a relationship vital to economic development for our region and beyond,” Port Freeport Commission Chairman, Shane Pirtle, concluded.

Photo: Port Freeport