Under an agreement signed today with the Galveston Wharves, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is to complete engineering and design work that will result in a set of plans and specification ready for a solicitation to deepen the last 2,571 feet of the Galveston Ship Channel to 46 feet. If Federal construction funding is received, channel dredging could begin as early as 2021.
“Deepening and expanding the western portion of the channel will allow us to accommodate larger cargo ships, which will bring regional economic benefits, as well as more port revenues and jobs,” said Galveston Wharves CEO and Port Director Rodger Rees.
The Corps estimates an average annual benefit of $1.6 million from the $13.4 million Galveston Harbor Channel Extension project. The 25-percent local match of approximately $3.3 million will be funded equally by the Galveston Wharves and Texas International Terminals.
“The Design Agreement is significant in that it permits Galveston District to initiate the design for this critical important project. Design was initiated on May 5, 2020,” said Dionicio (Dee) Gonzales, Project Manager for USACE – Galveston District.
The Corps will continue to maintain the federally owned 3.8-mile-long channel, which currently has a depth of 46 feet and an additional 2,571 feet at a depth of 41-feet.
Rees added, “This project supports our recently adopted Strategic Master Plan, which includes expanding cargo operations on the western end of the port. We greatly value our strong partnership with the Corps and their support.”