Final funding for a Corpus Christi Ship Channel improvement project was approved by Congress in late December, according to a news release issued by the Port of Corpus Christi.
The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023 includes funding of $157.3 million for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to advance the last phase of the channel improvement project.
The project will increase the depth of the ship channel from -47 feet mean lower low water (MLLW) to -54 feet MLLW, while also widening it to 530 feet, the news release said. An additional 400 feet of barge shelves also will be constructed, allowing for two-way traffic of both vessels and barges in tandem. The funding in the federal appropriations package is the largest single-year federal budgetary allocation for the project when compared to prior years’ budgets, according to the news release.
The project is a four-phase undertaking. Phase 1 is complete, while Phases 2 and 3 are under construction. Texas-based dredging companies Callan Marine, Ltd. and Great Lakes Dredge & Dock, LLC are conducting dredging operations for Phases 2 and 3, respectively. With this final appropriation, Phase 4 will begin in 2023, with the entire project estimated for completion in 2024.