PORT ARTHUR, Texas — Port officials say they have the opportunity to play a major role in putting Southeast Texas on the map by cutting down on the supply chain delays we've been experiencing around the country.
Port director Larry Kelley said the port has quadrupled its imports over the last few years so these projects will help get products off ships and on the road quicker.
Kelley said one of the two projects will begin in 2022 and include a new 2.5-acre laydown yard and truck queuing area.
"One of it's related to freight mobility,” Kelley said. “Be able to get cargo off the vessel or on a vessel from a holding area."
Kelley said the other project that’s set to begin in 2023 will include construction of a 5 acre truck queuing and staging area.
It’s something Kelley said will help the port better handle and process trucks coming in and out.
"It'll reduce idle time for the trucks and provide enhanced coordination for us to be able to move trucks in and out of the port," Kelley said.
Kelley said these projects will help cut down on some of the supply chain disruptions that have plagued the country.
Many of them stemming from delayed ships and slower freight movements at ports like Port Arthur, which Kelley said is a major port for bringing in military cargo and forest products.
"By estimates, last year we moved something like enough lumber to build 13,000 homes in Texas," Kelley said.
Texas Department of Transportation is funding port improvements for 13 Texas ports including Port Arthur all with the goal of improving freight mobility.
"They're all somehow connected for freight mobility and allow for enhanced movement of cargo inland,” Kelley said. “Certainly, will address some supply chain issues that happen today."
Kelley points out that through improving the movement of cargo these projects will help add jobs at the port and boost the local economy