A significant milestone in the history of the Houston Ship Channel was recognized today with the formal presentation of the Project Partnership Agreement (PPA) between the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the Port of Houston Authority (Port Houston) for the channel's billion-dollar widening and deepening program, Project 11.
The PPA is the official document committing Port Houston to the responsibilities of the project as the local non-federal sponsor. It details the terms of the channel infrastructure expansion, and most significantly, permits the start of dredging the federal waterway. Project 11 is the 11th major improvement of the channel in its more than 100-year history.
"Our port serves as the anchor for our Texas region," said Port Houston Executive Director Roger Guenther. "It is a critical step to provide a wider, deeper channel that maintains two-way vessel traffic to more safely and efficiently deliver everyday goods and petrochemical products to and from the region. This expansion project will help us continue to lead as the top port in the nation, supporting over 3.2 million U.S. jobs – including more than 1.35 million Texas jobs – and bringing $802 billion in economic value to the nation."
U.S. House Representatives Congressmen Kevin Brady, Brian Babin, Al Green, and Jodey Arrington provided remarks illuminating this milestone's importance at today's historic event. Representatives from U.S. Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz's offices expressed accolades on their behalf.
The offices of U.S. House Representatives Congresswomen Sheila Jackson Lee, Sylvia Garcia, Lizzie Fletcher, and Congressman Dan Crenshaw were present along with USACE and Port Houston staff.
The 52-mile-long Houston Ship Channel is a vital economic engine for the Houston region, the state of Texas, and the U.S. Last year, the USACE ranked it as the busiest port in the nation – the channel handles as much vessel traffic as the three largest U.S. ports combined. Once widened and deepened, the waterway will continue to help support and benefit more than 200 private and public facilities alongside it.
Project 11’s first dredge contract is expected to be awarded as early as this October.