USACE Galveston District awards $6.9 million contract to dredge Brownsville Ship Channel, Port Isabel Channel

Published July 2, 2015

GALVESTON, Texas (July 2, 2015) – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District awarded a contract in the amount of $6,956,000 to RLB Contracting Inc., for maintenance dredging of the Brownsville Ship Channel and Turning Basin and Port Isabel Channel and Turning Basin in Cameron County, Texas.

The contractor is required to remove two million cubic yards of shoal material, with material being placed in upland placement areas adjacent to both channels.

“Maintenance dredging will provide deep-draft access for pipe-laying vessel operations,” said Christopher Frabotta, chief of the USACE Galveston District’s Navigation Branch. “This contract will allow us to keep the channel open for navigation, which services the Port of Brownsville, ranked 73rd in the nation with respect to commercial tonnage (5.53 million tons total in 2013).”

According to Frabotta, the major commodities moved through the Port of Brownsville include: petroleum products, ores and minerals, steel and other metals, vegetable oils, and grains. Ship breaking industries also are performed along the Brownsville Ship Channel.

Additionally, the Port of Port Isabel provides for lay down yards and berthing facilities which support the oil and gas production industry.

Work is expected to begin July 2015 with an estimated completion date of December 2015.

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. 15-039