(HOUSTON) — Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Corp. has signed a $92.5 million dredging contract for Houston Ship Channel Widening and Improvement Project 11. This is the first phase of the billion-dollar expansion and deepening program. Dredging is expected to commence in the first quarter of 2022, with estimated completion in the fourth quarter of 2022.
Project 11 is an ambitious plan to widen the 52-mile Houston Ship Channel, which winds from the Gulf of Mexico through shallow Galveston Bay and up through the port. Great Lakes Dredge & Dock’s awarded work entails the dredging of 11.5 miles of the channel, widening a major portion of the Galveston Bay reach from 530 to 700 feet.
The Port of Houston is the nation’s largest waterborne tonnage port and a major container gateway for Texas and millions of people who live in neighboring areas. This project will allow for larger containerships and petrochemical ships to more safely and efficiently navigate the channel to access the Port of Houston. In addition to widening the channel, Great Lakes Dredge & Dock will pump 1.6 million cubic yards of dredged material to construct a new island for bird habitat and oyster mitigation.
In the evaluation of proposals, Port of Houston placed significant value on the dredging equipment’s total emissions of nitrogen oxide (NOx) during the project.
“Great Lakes Dredge & Dock is investing $4.5 million to improve emissions on the cutter suction dredge Carolina and the company’s largest booster station, Buster, by upgrading the vessels’ diesel engines and installing selective catalytic reduction (SCR) systems,” said David Simonelli, chief operating officer. “The upgrades and SCRs are designed to treat the exhaust of the engines to reduce NOx and particulate matter emissions. Retrofitting our equipment demonstrates our commitment to Port of Houston and supports our goal of reducing our overall environmental impact as we strive to leave the areas we work in a better state than when we started.”
– Great Lakes Dredge & Dock