New Measure Authorizes Port of Brownsville Project
NEAR BROWNSVILLE – Brownsville port officials said a measure signed into law Monday will allow the port to further expand its services.
U.S. President Obama signed the Water Resources and Development Act of 2016, which approves 28 water infrastructure projects nationwide. One of the projects includes deepening Brownsville’s ship channel by 10 feet.
Port of Brownsville Communications Director Patty Gonzalez said they’ve been working for long to solve certain challenges.
One of those challenges is how deep the channel is. Gonzalez said deepening the channel from 42 feet to 52 feet means boats will be able to hold more cargo in and out of the port. That means there will be greater economic impact per vessel.
She said initiating such a project must first be approved by Congress.
“We’ve been working on this project for more than 10 years. It does require an act of Congress, which is what happened today… The project is eligible for federal funding,” Gonzalez said. “Slowly, but surely we’re getting there. It’s been a long time. We would joke that it would take an act of Congress, but it really truly does take an act of Congress.”
Gonzalez said they are still far from completing the process, but the act is a push in the right direction.
The communication director said it’s not certain how long it will take the port to get the funding needed. She said the project is expected to have a positive impact on the Rio Grande Valley economy as it means more traffic for the channel.
The company Keppel AmFELS will also be able to increase its support in the construction, and servicing of offshore and inland oil and gas rings in Brownsville.