USACE Galveston begins dredge work at Freeport Harbor, to dredge Corpus Christi Ship Channel

Published Nov. 21, 2014

GALVESTON, Texas (Nov. 21, 2014) – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District began urgent maintenance dredging today at the Freeport Harbor using the government-owned trailing suction hopper dredge WHEELER.

The 45-day project will include removing approximately two million cubic yards of dredged material from the Freeport Entrance Channel, jetty channel and inner harbor, followed by an additional eight days of critical maintenance dredging at the Corpus Christi Ship Channel.

“The ports of Corpus Christi and Freeport are ranked 7th and 31st in the nation, respectively, with regards to commercial tonnage,” said Army Capt. Robert Burnham, a project operations manager with the USACE Galveston District’s Navigation Branch.  “These economic values, coupled with the fact that these are two very fast shoaling ports, means that maintaining the federally authorized depths are paramount.”

According to Burnham, the Corps is expected to remove approximately 400,000 cubic yards at the Corpus Christi Entrance Channel.

The dredge WHEELER is owned and operated by the Corps, with its homeport being New Orleans.

The USACE Galveston District was established in 1880 as the first engineer district in Texas to oversee river and harbor improvements. The district is directly responsible for maintaining more than 1,000 miles of channel, including 250 miles of deep draft and 750 miles of shallow draft as well as the Colorado River Locks and Brazos River Floodgates.

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Release no. 14-063