May 10th 2023 | Posted in Infrastructure by Texas Government Insider

The Port Authority Advisory Committee (PAAC) has developed a Port Mission Plan for years 2024-2025 that outlines funding needs for inland connectivity projects that serve the Texas ports, planned facility investments for public ports between the years 2021-2025, and eight authorized ship channel improvement projects. The plan has identified over $9.67 billion in funding needs for Texas’ 20 ports.

Port of Galveston 300x200 Texas Port Authority Advisory Committee identifies critical projects worth $9.6BThe PAAC advises the Texas Transportation Commission on port and maritime issues and makes recommendations for the Texas Department of Transportation to consider when formulating policies concerning the Texas port system. The PAAC presented this Port Mission Plan to Texas legislators during the 88th Legislative Session to request $600 million in state funds for capital projects and ship channel improvements for Texas ports.

This funding request by the PAAC will assist Texas ports such as the one in Galveston. The Port of Galveston is implementing a 20-Year Strategic Master Plan that details millions in major capital and maintenance improvements. Some of the plan’s projects, totaling $301.2 million, include the following:

  • West port roadway improvements feasibility study.
  • Galveston Island wayfinding project.
  • West End Cargo Complex expansion.
  • Wharf Road (interior port roadway) utility improvement and gate relocation.
  • Cruise terminal parking garage.
  • Cruise terminal walkway circulation improvements.
  • Pelican Island berth development.
  • Pelican Island projects — Phase 1.

Supply chain interruptions in recent years have emphasized how essential Texas ports are to the state. Texas relies heavily on a strong port system to maintain its leading position as the nation’s top exporter and importer by tonnage. According to the Texas Ports Association, Texas is ranked No. 2 among the 50 U.S. states in waterborne commerce. Texas ports handle 616.2 million tons of foreign and domestic cargo and generate $449.6 billion of total economic value for the state, representing 25% of Texas’ gross domestic product.