Nathanial Gronewold, E&E Reporter
HOUSTON — The nation’s busiest exporting port and the centerpiece of this city’s economy is about to launch a major capital project that’s directly tied to the oil and gas industry’s boom.
The Port of Houston Authority says that any day now, possibly even today, the Army Corps of Engineers will issue the permits it needs to proceed with a $100 million dredging and widening project to deepen parts of the Houston Ship Channel and make more room for larger dry freighters and tankers. The work will be conducted at the Bayport and Barbours Cut Channels, deepening these sections to 45 feet.
In an interview, Roger Guenther, executive director of the Port of Houston Authority, said that all the money and assets needed to commence the work are ready to go, and that work will begin as soon as the Army Corps permits come in. The dredging of the two channels could be completed by the end of this year.