Port Houston Awards Dredging Contracts

Contracts Part of US$1 billion Expansion of Houston Ship Channel

Port Houston in Texas has awarded contracts worth US$430 million to two U.S. dredging firms, part of the US$1 billion "Project 11" to expand the 52-mile Houston Ship Channel.

The contracts handed to Weeks Marine and Curtin Maritime Corp. for work on segments in the Galveston Bay segments of the expansion.

The winning contractors offered the best schedules, most competitive costs and lowest NOx emissions, the port said in a filing.

Port Houston is host port for this year's Breakbulk Americas conference, taking place on Sept. 27-29 at the George R. Brown Convention Center.

“It is an exciting day for Port Houston and the entire region and the millions of people who rely on the Houston Ship Channel for their livelihood and to bring them essential goods,” said Ric Campo, chair of the port commission.

Project 11, so-called as it represents the eleventh major construction project in the waterway’s 100-year history, officially kicked off in early June, and is expected to be completed by 2025.

The project aims to widen the Channel along its Galveston Bay reach from 530 to 700 feet, deepen upstream segments to 46.5 feet and improve safety, efficiency and environmental impact.

According to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Houston Ship Channel, which runs from downtown Houston to the Gulf of Mexico, is the busiest waterway in the U.S. The complex and its more than 200 public and private terminals generate more than US$800 billion in economic activity across the U.S. and support 3.2 million jobs.

For its part, Curtin Maritime said its contract would entail dredging nearly 4.18 million cubic yards of the Channel, with collected material deposited into an EPA designated ocean dredged material disposal site.

Dredge material would be used to complete the construction of oyster reef mitigation pads at Dollar Reef Oyster Reef Mitigation Site and San Leon Oyster Reef Mitigation Site, it added.

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PHOTO: Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Company’s eco-friendly Carolina. CREDIT: Port Houston

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