U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, Maritime Administrator Adm. Ann Philips and a host of other leaders and stakeholders gathered at Port Houston’s Bayport Container Terminal August 4 to celebrate the completion of Wharf 6 of the terminal’s expansion project.
“Today is more than a ribbon cutting for a concrete wharf,” Port Houston Commission Chairman Ric Campo said at the event. “It is a symbol for the future of the port and all the lives we will impact for the next generation.”
The additional berthing space comes at a time of continued growth at the port, Campo said.
“This new wharf will enable the port to keep up with the new growth and demand and help reduce supply chain congestion by providing additional capacity to berth another vessel around the clock,” he said.
Beyond the boost to capacity, the project, Campo contended, represents a significant investment in the Houston community.
“This wharf will help our port and our region with the demands of cargo importers and exporters,” he said. “This wharf will provide for the next generation of families by creating new jobs, sustaining existing jobs and driving our region’s prosperity.”
The U.S. Department of Transportation has contributed close to $80 million for the project, including work at the new wharf and yard space at the terminal. Other work at Bayport includes the rehabilitation of the north side container yards and wharf three and expansion of the terminal’s truck gate.
“We relish the ability to actually be here to not only provide funding for projects like this but to see a project like the Wharf 6 expansion here at the Bayport Container Terminal come to fruition,” Philips said.
Philips went on to highlight the Maritime Administration’s Port Infrastructure Development Program, which supports projects in order to meet cargo and waterborne transportation needs both today and into the future.
“This project in particular is one of the first recipients of a PIDP grant in 2019,” Philips said, noting that the Bayport expansion project received $28.1 million.
Addressing the crowd, Buttigieg took note of loaded container ships passing by and highlighted the history of the Houston Ship Channel, which has allowed the Port of Houston to grow into the largest port on the Gulf Coast. Those assets require ongoing investment, like the funding the Department of Transportation is pouring into Bayport and the Houston Ship Channel’s Project 11 expansion.
“Now, this wharf expansion was in the works before I got here, just to be clear,” Buttigieg said. “It is something that the department is proud to, and has been proud to support across administrations, but also now because of President Biden’s Infrastructure Law, and because of the support from members like those who are here today. We have more where that came from—$18 million that we awarded to help develop another 39 acres of space at this very Bayport terminal, and the $142 million dollars that the Biden-Harris Administration is investing to help widen and deepen that Houston Ship Channel that’s such an important part of this regional economy.”
After the formal ribbon cutting for the wharf, officials boarded a Houston Pilots crew boat to tour the Houston Ship Channel.
According to Port Houston, Wharf 6 is expected to be fully operational in October.