The Port of Corpus Christi Commission on Tuesday unanimously approved funding for the port’s $15.5 million share of the cost of extending the La Quinta Ship Channel and restoring the ecosystem, the first major portions of the port’s channel improvement project.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers last month approved $58.5 million in funding for the extension project as part of its 2011 work plan for the Army Civil Works program.
The Army Corps and the Port of Corpus Christi began studies in 1990 to improve the width and depth of the Texas city’s ship channel. The project includes widening and deepening the ship channel to handle increasing larger vessels; constructing barge lanes to separate ship traffic, making channel maneuvering safer; extending the La Quinta Channel to provide the necessary access for a proposed multipurpose dock and container handling facility; and construction and restoration of a number of ecosystem habitats to enhance the quality of life in the Coastal Bend.
In 2007, Congress authorized the project, but actual funding has just been received, and the funding is for a portion of the project only — the extension of the La Quinta Channel and construction of the ecosystem restoration features.
The project will provide deep-water access to more than 1,000 acres of port property already fully permitted for the construction of a container terminal and a 3,800-foot multipurpose dock.
Construction of the La Quinta extension is expected to start later this year and be complete by mid-2013.
Contact Peter T. Leach at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @petertleach.