Dredge Contractors Complete First Section Of Houston Ship Channel Expansion

Officials with the Port of Houston have announced completion of dredging for the first segment of the Houston Ship Channel expansion project, known locally as Project 11.

The first section, technically called Segment 1A, involved dredging from Bolivar Roads, the strait between Galveston Island and Bolivar Peninsula, to Redfish, located about 11.5 miles inland. Work on that segment included widening the channel to 700 feet and easing bends in the channel.

“The completion of Segment 1A is a great step forward to sustain the busiest waterway in the nation,” Roger Guenther, the port’s executive director, said. “It moves Port Houston one step closer to handling unrestricted two-way traffic of larger vessels for the benefit of all stakeholders.”

According to the port, Project 11 is on track for completion in 2025.

The project has a total of six segments, with the first segment divided into three portions. The expansion project also includes: widening the 8.3 miles from Redfish to the Bayport Ship Channel; widening the 5-mile stretch from Bayport to Barbours Cut; modifying the entrance to the Bayport Ship Channel to reduce shoaling and widening the channel; modifying the channel entrance and widening the Barbours Cut channel; deepening and widening an area from Bobby Bayou to Sims Bayou; deepening the channel from Sims Bayou to Interstate 610; and increasing the Brady Island Turning Basin and deepening the channel from 610 to the Brady Island.

“The deepening and widening of the channel is a $1 billion commitment to our growing economy, the generation of more jobs in our region and the safety of the nearly 20,000 vessels transiting the Houston Ship Channel every year,” Guenther said.

Great Lakes Dredge & Dock was the contractor for the 11.5-mile segment between Bolivar Roads and Redfish.

The current Houston Ship Channel expansion work is called “Project 11” because it is the 11th time the region has sought to improve the channel. “Project 1” took place between 1853 and 1857 following a $46,000 appropriation from the state of Texas.