Port of Houston Ship Channel Expansion

Port of Houston
A channel expansion project started more than 30 years ago is now complete at the Port of Houston.

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It took more than 30 years to receiv the permit to move forward with the expansion of the Houston Ship Channel. A bond vote in 1989 provided the local portion of the funding, combined with federal money the project capped out at more than $705 million. Port of Houston Authority Chairman Jim Edmonds.

The work extends 14 miles out into the Gulf of Mexico, 26 miles across Galveston Bay and then 13 miles up the landlocked portion of the channel. That's six years spent dredging material out of the channel and carting it off to other locations, all while maintaining operations. The expansion was executed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Dalton Krueger is the project manager. He says it was a bit like widening a freeway.

The engineers removed more than 300 million cubic yards of earth from the channel. Some of that material was used to create a bird island habitat. There will also be more than 4,000 acres of marshland using the dredged materials. And although the project is complete for now, there could be more expansions in the future.

But that's a decision for the Port Authority to make and right now they are focused on celebrating this project before thinking about future expansion efforts.

Bio photo of Laurie Johnson

Laurie Johnson

Local Host, All Things Considered

Laurie Johnson is the Houston host for All Things Considered at KUHF NPR for Houston. Before taking the anchor chair, she worked as a general assignments reporter at KUHF, starting there as an intern in 2002...