Business, Freight News, Sea

USACE Awards First Contract for Freeport Harbor Channel Improvement Project

[ September 18, 2020   //   ]

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) awarded a $15.4 million dollar contract on September 14 to Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Corporation for the first phase of the Freeport Harbor Channel Improvement Project. Construction will commence in the fall of 2020 with expected completion in May 2021.

The Project will deepen the Freeport Harbor Channel to depths ranging from 51 to 56 feet Mean Lower Low Water and widen one channel section making way for larger, deeper-draft vessels to call Port Freeport. Authorized by Congress under the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2014, the Project received $19 million in funding in the USACE FY 2020 Work Plan that was announced in February 2020 and was one of two seaports nationwide to receive a “new start” designation for
commencement of construction. Port Freeport is a leading port in the export of crude oil and natural gas liquids and nationally ranked 6th in chemicals and 17th in foreign waterborne tonnage.

The estimated total cost of the project is $295 million, of which the federal government share is $165 million and Port Freeport as the local sponsor is responsible for the remaining $130 million to be funded by the 2018 voter-approved bond package. The Project is broken into five phases and is expected to take several years to complete.

“A deeper channel will enable Port Freeport to serve a wider range of global vessels which will expand our capacity, facilitate additional economic growth and support job opportunities for the entire region,”
said Phyllis Saathoff, Executive Director/CEO of Port Freeport

A 2019 Economic Impact Study by Texas A&M Transportation Institution revealed that, nationally, the Freeport Harbor Channel generates 279,780 jobs and has a total economic output of $149 billion. The Freeport Harbor Channel serves BASF, Chiquita Fresh N.A., CMA CGM, Dole Fresh Fruit, The Dow Chemical Company, Freeport LNG, Glovis, Grimaldi Lines, Hoegh Autoliners, Horizon Auto Logistics, Liberty Global Logistics, Wallenius Wilhelmsen Ocean, Mammoet, Phillips 66, Riviana Foods, Inc.,
Sallaum Lines, Seaway Crude Pipeline Company, Tenaris, and Vulcan Materials Company.

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