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Ports of Southeast Texas are getting $66M from state to improve safety and infrastructure

Posted on January 17, 2024

The ports of Southeast Texas are getting more money thanks to a grant from the State of Texas.

The Texas Transportation Commission is giving a $240 million grant to ports across the state to improve safety and  infrastructure.

Four ports in Southeast Texas will split $66 million of that grant to fund six different projects.

This is a historical opportunity for Texas ports, officials told 12News. They are grateful to state leaders like Speaker Dade Phelan and Senator Robert Nichols for supporting the grant.

“Receiving these funds is an absolute game changer,” said Port Director and CEO of Port of Port Arthur Larry Kelley.

The grant is being used around Texas to support ports.

“I’m very pleased to say that four ports of Southeast Texas received $66 million of funds. Port of Port Arthur, Port of Beaumont, Port of Orange and Port of Sabine Pass,” Kelley said.

Kelley says the Port of Port Arthur plan on spending their $19. 6 million portion to build the westside flyover project.

“We have an active rail yard next to the port and that sometimes limits our ability to move in and out of the port. The other component is the flood protection levy that protects Port Arthur and once it’s elevated that will essentially lock us out of our own port,” he said.

The Port of Beaumont will be spending a little over $23 million to increase cargo capacity and adding stop lights for road safety.

“It’s essentially a lot where we’ll be able to move cargo to and from that we don’t currently have available. The improvement to Franklin Street which is the main truck route leading into the port will ensure that it’s safe and its upgraded and to the standard we need to be moving that cargo,” said Director of Cooperate Affairs Sade Chick.

The Port of Orange will get $18.1 million which will be use to rebuild the trans motor yard and truck queuing area. Sabine Pass Port Authority will be using $4.6 million to repair sheet pilling to a bulkhead to better accompany tugboats.

Both Kelley and Chick say these projects will also create jobs as the ports continue to grow and promote economic development.

“Ports play either a direct or in direct role in our everyday lives. Those six projects are going to make a huge impact not only on the communities that they’re in but on the region,” Chick said.

The Port of Beaumont plans to start construction on those projects this year, according to Chick.

Kelley says the next steps for Port Arthur are approving designs then putting it out for construction bids.


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