Galveston Wharves on Track with Master Plan

Cruise ships in Galveston

The Galveston Wharves reported great progress on capital projects from its 20-Year Strategic Master Plan.

In December 2019, the Galveston Wharves Board of Trustees approved a strategic plan aimed at unlocking the full potential of its self-sustaining port. 

This comprehensive vision for the port’s future, extending to 2040, encompasses significant capital projects valued at over $600 million to maximize revenue, employment opportunities and community advantages.

“As we take stock of our progress, I’m happy to report that we’re working the plan, and the plan is working,” said Galveston Wharves Port Director and CEO Rodger Rees.

 “This is thanks to the board’s commitment to following the phased plan, the port’s conservative fiscal approach, recent grant awards and the cruise industry’s robust growth.”

The major projects in the 2020-2025 schedule include infrastructure improvements such as the repair and replacement of long-neglected, deteriorating piers and bulkheads throughout the port.

Rees said that construction of a $50.1 million project to improve and expand 1,340 linear feet of berth for cargo and lay ships is set to begin in 2024. “Plans to fill two slips behind the new berth to create additional cargo laydown acreage are included in the port’s master plan pending additional grant funding and sources of fill material.”

As outlined in the 2020-2025 plan, the port completed a third cruise terminal in partnership with Royal Caribbean and expanded ground parking at the two terminals to meet customer demand.

“We’re ahead of schedule on building a proposed fourth cruise terminal, including a parking garage, at Pier 16 because the demand for berth usage is at an all-time high.”

Regarding future cruise and cargo growth, the master plan includes an interior roadway with a total estimated cost of $30 million, explained Rees.

“We also recently received $3.85 million in state funds to improve and reopen the 25th Street skywalk over Harborside Drive and a $340,000 federal grant to complete an action plan in 2024 to identify projects to improve vehicular and pedestrian traffic safety. The port will spend $1.7 million of reserves and operating cash flow for these two projects.”

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