The Corpus Christi Ship Channel Improvement Project (CIP) got a major boost last week when congress passed the bipartisan Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2020.
The act provides authority for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to carry out water resource development projects and studies. The legislation also reforms and provides policy direction to the USACE for implementation of its civil works missions including navigation construction projects such as the ship channel project.
Sen. John Cornyn said in a statement, “We can’t prevent natural disasters, but we can prepare for them. With the President’s signature, 20 different Texas projects will move forward, further protecting Texans from severe flooding and catastrophic storms.”
Across Texas, the act also authorizes the Houston Ship Channel Expansion Improvement Project, the Matagorda Ship Channel Improvement Project in Port Lavaca and a feasibility study for the Port of Victoria flood risk management project to name a few.
WRDA 2020 includes the Port’s high-priority reauthorization of the CIP at an estimated increased project cost of $676 million which will be split with $404 million federal cost share and $272 million non-federal cost share to the Port of Corpus Christi.
“We remain extremely grateful to our Texas Congressional Delegation for their support throughout the year of the Channel Improvement Project and the huge economic impact it undoubtedly will have on our region,” Port of Corpus Christi Commission Chairman Charles W. Zahn said. “This is a long-awaited and very positive step forward in realizing our vision as the Energy Port of the Americas.”
The Port said that reauthorizing the CIP is critically important for exporting Texas oil and gas to the global marketplace and complements the more than $250 million in funds already appropriated for the project. This bill also includes another $100 million in Fiscal Year 2021 passed in the Omnibus Spending Package approved last Monday for the CIP.
“The inclusion of the Water Resources Development Act in this latest Omnibus is a nod to all Ports in the Nation and certainly the Port of Corpus Christi in particular, and paves the way to completion of the Corpus Christi Ship Channel Improvement Project,” Port of Corpus Christi CEO Sean Strawbridge said. “An improved Ship Channel will solidify U.S. energy exports to our allies and trading partners for decades to come.”