Feature, Freight News, Sea

Galveston Wharves Upgrades Facilities

[ June 19, 2024   //   ]

Galveston Wharves said is spending more than US$90 million to update decaying or underused infrastructure and to maximize undeveloped acreage to grow its cargo business, as part of its 20-year strategic master plan.
“We’re on the cusp of a new era of cargo growth for Galveston,” said Rodger Rees, Galveston Wharves port director and CEO. “For the first time in decades, the Galveston Wharves and its partners have the opportunity to develop our cargo business to its full potential, generating hundreds of new jobs and tremendous economic growth for the region.”
Some of these improvements will begin this year. Other potential developments are still in early stages. It may take a decade, but I believe that the following projects will transform the port and boost our cargo business for generations to come.
West Port Cargo Complex: The port is investing more than US$90 million to add 30 acres for cargo handling and laydown area by enclosing and filling slips at piers 38/39 and 40/41 and by replacing decayed, unusable docks. This will allow the port to meet tenant demand to grow their roll-on, roll-off, project cargo and breakbulk cargo businesses.
Phased work began this summer, that includes filling and paving two outdated slips and building a new berth the length of four football fields. It will be funded with port cash reserves and a US$36 million Texas Department of Transportation grant.
Grain Elevator Demolition: The port expects to begin demolition of a decommissioned grain elevator at Pier 30/33 this year to expand the West Port Cargo Complex. The port will use some space prior to demolition.
Port Houston Partnership: The Galveston Wharves and the Port of Houston Authority have formed a joint team to explore development opportunities on Pelican Island under a memorandum of understanding approved by both governing bodies.
The Galveston Wharves owns more than 300 undeveloped acres on Pelican Island, including 2,500 linear feet of shoreline with deep-water access. The PHA owns nearly 1,000 acres adjacent to Wharves property.
“This move is mutually beneficial and forward-looking. Both ports have long held undeveloped acreage on Pelican Island, so it makes sense to look at ways to work together to identify opportunities,” Rees said.
Pelican Island Bridge: One major hurdle to developing hundreds of acres on Pelican Island is its decaying, 60-year-old bridge. Building a new bridge will create growth opportunities for the Galveston Wharves, while providing safe, reliable transportation infrastructure for the major maritime industries and the Texas A&M University campus located on the island.
“Building up our cargo business ensures a strong, diversified port and more good-paying jobs for everyone involved in moving cargo in and out of the Port of Galveston,” Rees said.