Texas Ports One Step Closer to Historic State Funding

Cruise ships in Galveston

Texas ports are one step closer to getting state funding for infrastructure and seaport connectivity projects, according to a statement.

On August 2, 2023, the Port Authority Advisory Committee (PAAC), which includes state and port representatives from the Texas Gulf Coast, recommended funding a number of projects. The Texas Transportation Commission will make the final funding decision at its September meeting.

Galveston Wharves Port Director and CEO, Rodger Rees, said: “The 88th Texas Legislature made history in their last regular session by allocating $640 million for Texas ports. For the very first time, the legislature allocated $200 million for the Maritime Infrastructure Program, which applies to projects within port gates. Additionally, $400 million was allocated to the Ship Channel Improvement Revolving Fund (SCIRF).”

“Finally, a continued investment of $40 million for the biennium was made for the Seaport Connectivity Program, which supports connectivity projects outside restricted port areas. The Texas Ports Association (TPA) played an integral part in advocating for increasing port funding this legislative session.”

The process began when Texas ports submitted the list of projects to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) Maritime Division, which formulated the Port Mission Plan (PMP).

This document contains the total amount of funding needed by the ports and highlights the importance of a strong statewide port system.

“As a member of the PAAC representing the state’s upper east coast, I’m proud of the work of my fellow committee members and TxDOT Maritime Division,” said Reese, highlighting the goals they’re looking to achieve including:

  • Identifying high-priority and strategic port projects and making recommendations to the department for investment.
  • Incorporating maritime interests in the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT)
  • Promoting Texas ports for economic development opportunities.
  • Identifying federal, state or other funding opportunities for maritime investment.

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