Transportation Secretary & Officials Cut Ribbon at Port Houston's Bayport Terminal Expansion Project

Source: 8/8/2023, Location: North America

On Friday, August 4, Port Houston reached another historic milestone when it celebrated the completion of Wharf 6 of its Bayport Container Terminal Expansion Project. U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) Maritime Administrator Admiral Ann Philips were among many federal, state, and local officials, partners, stakeholders, and customers on hand to celebrate the Bayport Container Terminal Expansion project with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Remarking about the occasion, Port Commission Chairman Ric Campo said, “Today is more than a ribbon cutting for a concrete wharf; it is a symbol for the future of the Port and all the lives we will impact for the next generation.”

Port Houston has seen double-digit cargo growth year over year. “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,” Chairman Campo said.

“This wharf will help our Port and our region with the demands of cargo importers and exporters. This wharf will provide for the next generation of families by creating new jobs, sustaining existing jobs, and driving our region’s prosperity,” Chairman Campo added.

USDOT invested nearly $80 million towards the wharf and yard space at the terminal, building on other investments to expand the capacity and enhance the efficiency of the terminal, including rehabilitation of the north side container yards, rehabilitation of wharf three, and expansion of the truck gate.

The Houston Ship Channel is the busiest waterway in the nation, handling more cargo than any other U.S. port, and Chairman Campo said that as an advocate of the channel Port Houston has the responsibility to keep planning and building for the future growth and demands of the waterway. These projects include various wharf and berth improvements, cargo staging yards, zero-emission trucks, charging infrastructure, additional terminal space, and the deepening and widening of the Houston Ship Channel – Project 11.

Program participants Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee and Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia were highlighted as some of the biggest champions of the Houston Ship Channel. Congresswoman Jackson Lee, Congressman Wesley Hunt, and Congressman Brian Babin have also partnered to support $55 million in Community Funded Project requests in the upcoming Congressional Appropriations Bill.

Also in attendance and recognized for their advocacy for Port Houston were State of Texas Representatives Jarvis Johnson, Mary Ann Perez, and Christina Morales. These State Representatives, along with other representatives and Senators, were also saluted for their support in securing $250 million for infrastructure investments in Texas ports in the 2024-25 state budget.

Representing local support and also in attendance were Harris County Commissioner Adrian Garcia, City of Houston Mayor Vice Pro-Tem Martha Castex-Tatum, and Pasadena Mayor Jeff Wagner, Morgan’s Point Mayor Michel Bechtel and Seabrook Mayor Thom Kolupski.

During the program attendees were treated to an immersive experience as loaded container ships sailed by and sounded off their horns in salute during the ceremony, ship-to-shore cranes loaded containers overhead, rubber-tired gantry cranes moved containers in the yard, and drayage trucks transferred cargo. The U.S. Coast Guard also showcased two of its world-class vessels in honor of the 233rd anniversary of its founding.

Guests noted the full display of collaboration that morning, as they observed the Coast Guard, Houston Pilots, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, International Longshoreman’s Association (ILA), stevedores, and various other stakeholders working together to keep cargo and commerce moving.

Following the ceremony, Secretary Buttigieg and several officials toured Project 11 onboard a Houston Pilots vessel, witnessing first-hand its impactful investment in the future of the Houston Ship Channel and of what is still needed.

The new wharf is scheduled to be fully operational in October of this year.

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