Dredging Brownsville Ship Channel will impact local economy

News Center 23

POSTED: Friday, July 26, 2013 - 3:50pm

UPDATED: Saturday, July 27, 2013 - 11:25am

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers awarded a $3.1 million dollar dredging contract to a Florida-based company to dredge parts of the Brownsville Ship Channel.

"It's to remove about 333,000 cubic yards of sediment that has accumulated in certain spots along the Brownsville Ship Channel. If these areas are allowed to get any bigger, it could affect significantly the size of vessel that can come in and out of the Port of Brownsville."

The channel is currently operating under a restriction where full sized vessels may have a problem getting in and out of the port. Officials want to avoid potential future issues, especially if it means their business could be affected.

"Larger vessels, more frequent vessels, means there's more commodities from a logistics perspective coming in and out of the port. Depending on the commodity, whether it's bulk or liquid, you know, people are necessary to load and unload, you know, truckers are necessary to move the equipment around, some of the cargos moves my rail…it's just a large chain of employment that are necessary to make the entire system work."

"Dredging the Port of Brownsville is expected to bring an economic boom to the area, especially because the port in and of itself provides 12,000 jobs - from the ship crews to the truck drivers."

"Obviously the activity of the port fuels the regional economy, which is critical to the area."

Reporting in Brownsville, Marty Watson, KVEO News Center 23.

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