Port Houston starts work on $1 billion channel expansion project

Aerial view of the Port of Houston, Texas as shot from an altitude of about 2000 feet during a helicopter photo flight.

Port Houston, in partnership with the US Army Corps of Engineers, has started work on its $1 billion expansion of the Houston Ship Channel.

A ceremony commemorating the event was held on 1 June 2022 and was attended by over 200 people including elected officials and representatives from multiple sectors in the maritime industry.

© Port Houston

“All of our partners here view what some would call problems or challenges as opportunities,” Port Houston Chairman Ric Campo said to the audience, but “opportunities to drive our industry forward and reimagine how we tackle these ‘challenges’ in new innovative ways, generating greater results for all.”

According to the port authority, the unprecedented challenges in the global supply chain over the past two years have highlighted the critical importance of ports and the maritime industry.

“Army Civil Works is proud to partner with the Port of Houston to invest funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to advance the expansion of the Houston Ship Channel,” added Michael Connor, Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works Projects).

“This project is important on many levels, including improving the efficiency of our nation’s supply chains, promoting navigational safety, and creating environmental benefits through the innovative use of dredged material.”

Known locally as Project 11, the channel expansion is said to bring tremendous positive economy, safety, and environmental benefit for the US.

“The sooner we complete and utilize the project that delivers an increased $134 million annual economic impact, the better and ultimately what this means is more jobs,” continued Campo.

The project is currently on schedule for completion in 2025.

US Congress passed the 2020 Water Resources Development Act and formally authorised the expansion back in December 2020.

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