BEAUMONT, Texas — The Port of Beaumont is receiving a grant that will help increase the port's capacity and support future growth.
The grant is valued at $26.4 million and comes through the Department of Transportation and the U.S. Maritime Administration as part of the Port Infrastructure Development Program (PIDP) grants.
The port applied for the grant in 2021 and got word of their approval on Wednesday, October 26, 2022.
The project includes the strengthening of a 400-foot section of dock area to support heavy loads, as well as the design and installation of a 26.14-acre container marshalling yard and hard-surfaced laydown area, according to a news release from the Office of U.S. Senator John Cornyn.
"It's a very exciting time at the port of Beaumont. We probably have a little over $200 million in projects that are either underway or soon to be underway," said Port of Beaumont Director Chris Fisher.
PIDP grants are given to support movement of commerce and help strengthen, modernize and improve the country’s maritime systems and gateway ports.
Fisher says the grant money will allow the port to conduct more trade business.
"Sometimes we have to turn business away because we only have a certain amount of capacity and we don't wanna do that. We want to continue to grow and create jobs," he said.
This also a greener way to bring barges to Southeast Texas from container ports like the Port of Houston.
"It will result in emissions reductions and safety benefits because you'll be removing vehicles from the I-10 corridor from Beaumont to Houston and we'll be putting that cargo on barges," said Port of Beaumont Director of Corporate Affairs Sadé Chick.
Chick says it could reduce three million miles of I-10 traffic between Beaumont and Houston in a year.
"Besides that, have three docks under construction at the same time at the port of Beaumont. That's unheard of, most of the time you build one in 20 years, we're building 3 in one year," Fisher said.
Fisher says this would be the largest expansion the port has seen in it's hundred-year history.
"It's by far the largest, most robust master plan the port's ever undertaken," he said.
One of the biggest takeaways from all the expansion includes more jobs, more business and more economic growth in Southeast Texas.
“Access to safe and efficient infrastructure is critical as more goods come in and out of Texas ports each day,” said Sen. Cornyn. “I applaud this announcement and look forward to seeing the positive impact this investment in the Port of Beaumont will have for commerce in southeast Texas.”