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$29.9 Million Contract Kickstarts Port of Galveston’s Improvement Project

Posted on May 3, 2024

The Port of Galveston’s West Port Cargo Complex will soon undergo a massive transformation, courtesy of a $29.9 million contract.

The Galveston Wharves Board of Trustees recently approved a construction contract that will kickstart the first phase of the facility’s larger $90 million cargo infrastructure expansion and improvement project. The contract, funded by cash reserves generated from the Port of Galveston’s cruise operations, will facilitate the enclosure and filling of a slip at Pier 38/39, with construction expected to begin this summer.

Concurrently, the following two phases, also anticipated to commence this summer, will cost $50.1 million and will be backed by $36 million from a $42 million state grant that was awarded to the port last year, along with $14.1 million from port reserves. These phases entail the enclosure and filling of a slip at Pier 40/41.

“As we continue to develop our cruise business, we’re generating cash reserves to fund long-neglected cargo infrastructure, said Port Director Rodger Rees in a statement. “It’s a great day in the port’s nearly 200-year history when we can invest almost $100 million to build up our waterfront.”

The project also consists of a new 1,426-foot-long berth stretching from Pier 38/39 to Pier 40/41. Meanwhile, future phases will involve paving and other various enhancements, with the entire construction expected to conclude by 2026.

Additionally, alongside the expansion and improvement project, the port will oversee the demolition of a decommissioned grain elevator at Pier 30/33 this summer. Completion of this project is scheduled for the end of 2025, after which the land will be repurposed for cargo handling and laydown. Through these endeavors, the port is set to augment the complex by nearly 30 acres.

The port’s fourth cruise terminal, which will house the MSC Seascape, is also expected to be completed in 2025. “Our [new] cruise terminal will bring in an estimated $10 million-$14 million a year in additional revenues and hundreds of jobs,” Rees said. “We’ll use these revenues, along with grants, to continue to improve our aged cargo infrastructure.”

These critical infrastructure projects are integral components of the port’s 20-year Strategic Master Plan, designed to position the port for sustained growth and expansion over the next four decades.


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