Marine Weeks and Curtin Maritime secured contracts worth a total of $430 million from the Port of Houston Authority Port Commission for the Houston Ship Channel expansion project in the United States.
Under the contract, the companies will be responsible for completing the remaining Galveston Bay segments of the expansion project, called Project 11.
Port of Houston Authority Harbor Commission Chairman Ric Campo said, “This is an exciting day for Port Houston and the entire region and the millions of people who depend on the Houston Ship Channel for their livelihoods and to bring them essential goods.
“One of today’s contracts to support the expansion of the Houston Ship Canal – Project 11 is historic and, to our knowledge, the largest award ever awarded.”
Project 11 will widen the Houston Ship Channel by 170 feet, from 530 feet to 700 feet, along its span in Galveston Bay.
The Harbor Commission has approved $450 million for all agenda items to support the canal expansion.
According to the authority, about 52% of the contract amount will be used to create marshes, bird islands and oyster reefs.
The Houston Ship Channel is the nation’s busiest waterway, according to the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE).
About 82% of the funding is provided for Project 11, and plans are underway to receive the remaining federal funds.
The USACE study found that Project 11 is expected to add more than $133 million annually in national economic value once it is operational.
In 2019, the Houston Ports Authority Harbor Commission announced plans to accelerate the widening and deepening of the Houston Ship Channel.
The billion dollar project to expand the Houston Ship Channel began earlier this month.
The first dredging contract was awarded last year by the Harbor Commission, and the full project is expected to be completed in 2025.