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Port Corpus Christi’s $139M channel expansion contract awarded

Army Corps of Engineers taps Houston company for dredging project

The Port of Corpus Christi's four-phase, $651 million infrastructure project will increase the channel’s depth to 54 feet from 47 feet and widen it to 530 feet, from 400 feet. (Photo: Port of Corpus Christi)

Houston-based Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Co. has been awarded a $139 million contract by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to work on the third phase of the Port of Corpus Christi ship channel improvement project.

The four-phase, $651 million infrastructure project will increase the channel’s depth to 54 feet from 47 feet and widen it to 530 feet, from its current width of 400 feet.

The increase will allow more than one vessel to pass through the channel at the same time, as well as accommodate supertankers, known as very large crude carriers (VLCCs).

Great Lakes’ work on phase 3 of the project will extend west of the channel’s La Quinta Junction through the Chemical Turning Basin in the port’s Inner Harbor. This phase of the project is expected to be completed by June 2023.

“The Port of Corpus Christi is already responsible for more than 98,000 regional jobs, and the completion of this channel improvement project will lead to additional jobs, allowing for increased funding into community reinvestment initiatives,” Col. Tim Vail, Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District commander, said in a statement. “The enhanced channel will also improve safety and efficiency by allowing two-way traffic, and a safer passthrough for deep-draft vessels.”

The channel improvement began in May 2019. The Port of Corpus Christi has provided $161.5 million for its portion of the total cost. The federal government has appropriated $296.3 million in funding.

“Advancing the third phase of this historic initiative in developing critical coastal navigation infrastructure reinforces our importance in serving the global energy markets, and solidifies the Port of Corpus Christi’s position as the largest energy export gateway in the U.S.,” Sean Strawbridge, CEO of the Port of Corpus Christi, said in a statement.

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Noi Mahoney

Noi Mahoney is a Texas-based journalist who covers cross-border trade, logistics and supply chains for FreightWaves. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in English in 1998. Mahoney has more than 20 years experience as a journalist, working for newspapers in Florida, Maryland and Texas. Contact [email protected]