District awarded a $92 million construction contract to Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company, LLC, to deepen and widen the Corpus Christi Ship Channel (CCSC) from the Gulf of Mexico to Harbor Island, as part of the Channel Improvement Project (CIP). This contract will increase the depth from -47 feet Mean Lower Low Water (MLLW) to -54 feet MLLW from the jetties at the entrance of the ship channel to Harbor Island and will extend the CCSC into the Gulf of Mexico to -56 feet MLLW. The overall ship channel deepening will include multiple phases, bid over the next five years. The total estimated contract value of the full project is approximately $360 million. The Corps is working in partnership with the Port of Corpus Christi to fund the work.
The initial contract work will occur starting upstream of the Port Aransas Ferry Landing and extending 7.6 miles into the Gulf of Mexico. It will increase the channel depth from -47 feet Mean Lower Low Water (MLLW) to -54 feet MLLW from the jetties at the entrance of the ship channel to the Ferry Landing, and will extend the CCSC into the Gulf of Mexico to -56 feet MLLW requiring the removal of approximately 6.6 million cubic yards of material. Work began in mid-February with an estimated completion date of mid-February 2020.
In November, the Corps announced its Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 Work Plan, which included an additional $59 million in funding for the CIP, bringing the total federal appropriations for the CIP to $95 million.
The Port of Corpus Christi is the largest crude export port in the United States and processes approximately 100 million tons each year. The port’s impact on the United States economy exceeds $124 billion annually and the planned work on this channel over the next five years is expected to bring significant benefit to the United States, Texas and local economies. This deepening project will be a major step toward the United States’ objective of becoming a net exporter of its energy production.
David Simonelli, GLDD Dredging Division president, commented, “The Corpus Christi Ship Channel Improvement Project is an important win for the Company and begins the long awaited deepening cycle for the Port of Corpus Christi. Three additional contracts are planned to create much needed deep water access to the Port. Great Lakes’ dredging operations will utilize hopper and cutter suction dredges.”