The Port of Houston yesterday received notification from USACE that it was awarded a “new start” designation and $19.5 million in federal funds to begin construction of the Houston Ship Channel Expansion Channel Improvement Project.
The project was authorized in the Water Resources and Development Act of 2020 as part of a larger legislative package passed by Congress in December.
The Houston Ship Channel Expansion – Project 11 – will widen and deepen the channel for safer and more efficient navigation of vessels calling the port’s eight public terminals and more than over 200 private facilities operating along the channel.
“To go from Congressional authorization to securing a pathway for construction in less than a month is phenomenal news,” Port Houston Chairman, Ric Campo, said. “Project 11 will provide the greater Houston metropolitan area continued job growth and economic development opportunities, while improving air quality by reducing traffic congestion on the channel.”
Port Houston Executive Director, Roger Guenther, called the designation a momentous occasion for the port.
“We’re grateful for our bipartisan Congressional delegation and the many channel stakeholders who aggressively advocated to get this project authorized and funded,” Guenther said.
In addition to the “new start” designation and $19.5 million in construction funds, the Port also received $55.5 million in annual operations and maintenance funding to ensure safe and efficient vessel traffic on the current channel.
The Houston Ship Channel port complex and its public and private terminals, collectively known as the Port of Houston, is now the number one port in the United States in terms of total waterborne tonnage.