The Calhoun Port Authority (CPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District hosted a public meeting about the Matagorda Ship Channel feasibility study on May 15. The public review period for the project Draft Integrated Feasibility Report (DIFR) and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) ran from May 7 to June 21.
Released in May, the draft DIFR/EIS indentified 47 feet MLLW as the depth with the highest net benefits, considering from 38 to 51 feet. The plan also indicated 350-foot wide for the channel and 600-foot wide for the entrance, as well as 1,200-foot turning basin.
A Feasibility Cost Share Agreement (FCSA) was signed between the Corps and CPA in August 2016. The project is authorized under Section 216 of the Flood Control Act of 1970, which authorizes the Corps to review existing constructed projects for modifications needed to meet new physical or economic conditions.
The originally authorized project provided for a channel 36 feet deep Mean Low Tide (MLT), by 300 feet wide from the 38-foot MLT depth in the Gulf to the Gulf side of the Matagorda Peninsula; 36 feet MLT deep by 300-foot wide through the Peninsula; and 36 feet MLT deep by 200-foot wide from the bay side of the Peninsula to and including a 36-foot deep by 1,000-foot square turning basin at Point Comfort.