Port of Corpus Christi Approves Channel Improvement Project

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Posted September 11, 2017

The Port of Corpus Christi Authority (PCCA) has approved a project agreement for the deepening and widening of the Corpus Christi Ship Channel (CC Ship Channel), the port authority said in a statement.

The $327 million project, also approved by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), includes widening and deepening the channel to 530 feet and 54 feet, respectively, and building additional barge shelves to allow for two-way vessel and barge traffic in tandem.

While the entire project is estimated to cost $327 million, USACE's proportionate cost-share is projected to be $225 million and the PCCA proportionate cost-share is projected at $102 million. All parties have agreed to accelerate the project by injecting the first $32 million into construction ahead of the federal appropriations of $102 million, according to the port authority.

“The widening and deepening of the Corpus Christi Ship Channel and construction of barge shelves are needed to guarantee continued economic growth for South Texas and Port Corpus Christi, and for ensuring the safety of port operations. The Corpus Christi Ship Channel Improvement Project is critical to the Texas economy, and the nation’s movement toward global energy dominance,” said Charles W. Zahn, chairman of the Port Corpus Christi Commission.

"The signing of this Project Partnership for the Port of Corpus Christi Channel Improvement Project is a monumental opportunity for the Port of Corpus Christi and will help generate jobs and the economy in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. The Galveston District is proud to undertake this significant project with our non-federal sponsor," added Col. Lars N. Zetterstrom, commander of the Galveston District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The impact of Hurricane Harvey resulted in the closure of supply chain operations for six days last week, with flooding and wind causing the most damage in the Gulf Coast region.

The CC Ship Channel Improvement Project was initially authorized by Congress under the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2007 and was re-authorized in WRDA 2014. Congress "reaffirmed its commitment to the Project under the WIIN 2016 Act (Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act)," said the port.

Source: American Shipper