Galveston, TX (May 12, 2020) – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) will complete engineering and design resulting in a set of plans and specification ready for solicitation to deepen the last 2,571 feet the Galveston Ship Channel to 46 feet under a design agreement signed with the Galveston Wharves today. If Federal construction funding is received, channel dredging could initiate 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 critically important project. The 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.”
Galveston Wharves at Port of Galveston
Perfectly situated at the entrance to Galveston Bay and the Houston Ship Channel, Galveston Wharves has been a thriving maritime commercial center since 1825. Just 30 minutes from open seas, the 840-acre port has infrastructure and assets to serve growing cruise, cargo and commercial businesses. As the fourth busiest U.S. cruise port, it welcomed over 1 million cruise passengers in 2019. One of the top 20 cruise ports in the world and one of the busiest in Texas, the port moved 4 million tons of cargo in 2019 and has an estimated annual state economic impact of $2.1 billion.