Business

Dredging of Bayport, Barbour’s Cut To Start Within 2 Weeks

Work will allow bigger ships to reach Houston via the Panama Canal.

The Port of Houston Authority expects to begin dredging the Bayport and Barbour’s Cut channels sometime in the next two weeks. The work is seen as necessary to accommodate much larger cargo ships crossing through the Panama Canal, once the expansion of the canal is completed in 2016.

The port authority has long sought to increase the depth of the channels to 45 feet, matching the depth of the Houston Ship Channel. The Army Corps of Engineers granted the final permits in May.

The work is being funded entirely by the Port of Houston Authority, without federal assistance, even though the project itself is federally authorized.

“If it went through the normal process with the federal government and the Corps of Engineers, the process would have taken probably at least fifteen years,” says Roger Guenther, executive director of the port authority. “and our region couldn’t wait for a deeper and wider channel into the Barbour’s Cut and Bayport Terminal.”

Guenther says that, instead, the project should be completed in early 2015, less than four years after it was first conceived.

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Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew heads Houston Public Media’s coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas Legislature and county and city governments across Greater Houston. Before taking up his current post, Andrew spent five years as Houston Public Media’s business reporter, covering the oil...

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