The Port of Corpus Christi commission voted Tuesday to approve $217 million in bonds to help pay for work to expand the port’s ship channel, as well as related improvements. The goal is to position the Texas port for bigger tankers and liquefied natural gas ships.
The approval comes a week after securing federal funding for its ship channel project.
The Corps of Engineers fiscal year 2018 work plan released June 11 includes $23 million for the Corpus Christi channel deepening to 54’. The Corps earlier this year allocated $13 million toward the project, and port officials say the additional $23 million will fund the second of six contracts, extending construction from the channel entrance in the Gulf of Mexico to Redfish Bay. The project should be completed in 2022, and port officials say it could increase U.S. energy exports by $40 billion.
The deepening project would allow large crude oil tankers to be fully loaded at the port, instead of being topped off outside the port in the Gulf of Mexico. Concurrent with the channel deepening is an $802 million project to replace the Harbor Bridge with a wider, higher span that at 1,661’ will be the longest cable-stay bridge in North America when complete.