Army Corps Awards Contract for Corpus Christi Channel Improvement
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) on Friday awarded a $139 million construction contract to Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company, LLC. (GLDD), to complete the third phase of the landmark Port of Corpus Christi Ship Channel Improvement Project (CIP). The four-phase infrastructure project will increase the Corpus Christi Ship Channel depth from -47 feet Mean Lower Low Water (MLLW) to -54 feet MLLW and widen it to 530 feet, with an additional 400 feet of barge shelves.
Phase 3 will extend west of the La Quinta Junction through the Chemical Turning Basin in the Port’s Inner Harbor. GLDD completed the first phase of the CIP on time in March 2020, deepening and widening the waterway from the Gulf of Mexico to Harbor Island. In April 2020, the Phase 2 contract was awarded to Callan Marine Ltd., and is currently under construction, deepening and widening the channel from Harbor Island to 2.7 miles past the La Quinta Junction and includes Ingleside. In Ingleside, three large crude export marine terminal operators – Buckeye Partners, Moda Midstream and Flint Hills Resources – currently operate.
“The Texas Coast has a vibrant natural ecosystem, and our coastline provides vast economic, social and environmental benefits to the nation,” said U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District Commander Col. Tim Vail. “The economic benefits associated with this project are vital to the region. 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. The enhanced channel will also improve safety and efficiency by allowing two-way traffic, and a safer passthrough for deep-draft vessels.”
The CIP is a long anticipated collaboration between the Port of Corpus Christi, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the federal government. For more than 30 years, the Port of Corpus Christi has campaigned for federal funds to bring the CIP to fruition. To date, the port has provided $161.5 million for its portion of the total project cost share, with the federal government appropriating $296.3 million dollars thus far in funding.
“The Port of Corpus Christi applauds the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for continuing to move expeditiously on this nationally vital waterway project,” said Sean Strawbridge, Chief Executive Officer for the Port of Corpus Christi. “Advancing the third phase of this historic initiative in developing critical coastal navigation infrastructure reinforces our nation’s importance in serving the global energy markets, and certainly solidifies the Port of Corpus Christi’s position as the largest energy export gateway in the United States. We welcome Great Lakes Dredge and Dock back to the project and have every confidence they will complete the work on time and on budget.”
Great Lakes Dredge & Dock has extensive experience working on high-profile marine projects over its 128 years in business, including the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill cleanup and the deepening of the Port Miami harbor.
“We are proud to partner with the USACE, Galveston District, the Port of Corpus Christi and local officials in the execution of Phase 3 of the Corpus Christi deepening project,” said Lasse Petterson, Chief Executive Officer for Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company. “Great Lakes’ proven experience in this type of project, our high safety standards and our expertise in minimizing environmental impact in the areas we work will support our goal of completing this project safely, on time and within budget.”
Estimated completion for the third phase of the Corpus Christi Ship Channel Improvement Project is June 2023.