Port of Brownsville, located on the U.S.-Mexican border, is embarking on a $250 million infrastructure project that will deepen the port’s channel to 52 feet. The added depth is needed to keep Brownsville competitive and growing.
The Port of Brownsville in Brownsville, Texas, perched on the U.S.-Mexican borders, has deep interest in the flourishing trade between the United States and Mexico, and beyond in Central America, with the port having evolved to become a major trade channel between Texas and Mexico.
In order to further strengthen its position, the Port of Brownsville has embarked on major infrastructure development. The port is planning to increase its depth from 42 to 52 feet following the U.S. Congress’ approval in 2016.
“After years of planning, the U.S. Congress authorized the deepening of the 17-mile-long Port of Brownsville shipping channel from 42 feet to 52 feet, ranking it among the deepest channels on the Gulf of Mexico upon completion. The deepening project is expected to top $250 million,” Steve Tyndal, senior director (marketing and business development) of Port of Brownsville, observed in an interview with the AJOT, at the recent Steel Survival Strategies (SSS-XXXII) conference in New York.
Oil rig and ship building are integral and critical legacy industries at the port, requiring deeper water to grow. For future sustainability, it is necessary to deepen the port’s shipping channel to remain competitive.
Since 1914, most of the world’s largest seaports had designed their channel depths to match that of the then new Panama Canal – 40 feet – so that Panamax ships (the maximum sized ships that could cross the Panama Canal) could safely call on their ports. That changed in 2016 when the expanded Panama Canal opened.
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