In a regular meeting following the impact of Hurricane Ike, the Port of Houston Authority's governing body acted to approve and continue various infrastructure and development projects at the port.
The Port Commission of The Port of Houston Authority (PHA) approved $3 million for shoreline protection at Morgan's Point, near Barbours Cut Terminal, and awarded three professional service contracts for project outlines for a Pelican Island Conceptual Planning Study at its regular Sept. 30 meeting.
Environmental Affairs Matters Addressed
Commissioners approved amending a contract with the Houston Audubon Society for planting, monitoring and management of Evia Island, a Houston Ship Channel Project Beneficial Uses Site, for an additional two-year term and $50,000.
The commission approved advertising and receipt of competitive sealed proposals for shoreline protection at Morgan's Point, near Barbours Cut Terminal. This project is part of an agreement with San Jacinto College District to develop a Teaching-and-Learning Nature Preserve and design and construct an erosion control barrier along the shoreline of its property south of Barbours Cut Terminal. Estimated cost of this project is $2.7 to $3.3 million.
The commission approved advertising and receipt of competitive sealed proposals for storm water quality consulting for a term of two years. The Environmental Affairs Department is requesting environmental consulting services to provide technical expertise and assistance with storm water quality issues. The services are intended to assist the Environmental Affairs Department (EAD) in addressing regulatory compliance, Environmental Management System goals and storm water quality projects and programs.
Commissioners approved awarding three professional service contracts for project outlines for a Pelican Island Conceptual Planning Study. PHA entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with Galveston Wharves in 2007, agreeing to formulate a joint action plan to create a Master Development Plan for a Pelican Island container-handling facility. An interlocal agreement for Pelican Island Container Terminal Planning further outlines the process. An initial step in the development of the Master Plan is the collection and analysis of information, covering conceptual container terminal planning, land, rail and water transportation issues, environmental permitting requirements, and community and stakeholder involvement. The need for a new container-handling facility is a priority as PHA is the busiest container port along the US Gulf Coast, currently handling nearly 70% of the container market in the US Gulf of Mexico, said the Port.
The commission approved advertising and receipt of competitive sealed proposals for a secured truck entrance at Cargo Bay Road at the Turning Basin Terminal for $6.2 million to $7 million. In keeping with PHA's priority to maintain a safe and secure port, this project will provide a new dedicated truck entrance to the Turning Basin Terminal from Loop 610 to High Level Road. The new road will incorporate the construction already completed for the new truck gate and credentialing stations and will also improve the remainder of Gate 1 Road and Ramp Road 7.
Houston Ship Channel
The commission authorized the port authority's execution of the petition requesting creation of the Houston Ship Channel Security District and its payment of assessments for each of the first three years of the district for $150,000 per year, and also authorize the port authority to otherwise participate and act with respect to the creation and implementation of the district and its security projects.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry signed into law the bill that authorized creation of the district in August 2007 at PHA headquarters. When it is finalized, the public-private partnership will be a model for the nation and further improve security and safety for facilities, employees and communities adjacent to the Houston Ship Channel through increased preparedness and response capability, said the port. Assessments from district members will enhance the infrastructure, as well as improve maintenance and operations of the security network.
The commission authorized payment of up to $3 million to the US Army Corps of Engineers for FY 2009 cost-shared expenses for construction in and along the Houston Ship Channel. On June 10, 1998, the PHA and the Corps entered into the Project Cooperation Agreement, which established each entity's roles in accomplishing the Houston Ship Channel deepening and widening project, including the PHA's cost-sharing obligations for construction of upland disposal sites and beneficial use sites. To fulfill its 25% cost-sharing obligation for work scheduled from October 2008 through September 2009, the PHA anticipates needing as much as $3 million.