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Posted on: December 28, 2023

Public Shows Keen Interest in Port Projects

By Rodger Rees, Galveston Wharves Port Director and CEO

The more than 80 community members who attended the Galveston Wharves public meeting on Dec. 19 showed strong interest in and support for several major capital projects planned or underway at the port.

Port staff manned information stations to answer questions and collect feedback on the following:

  • Proposed Cruise Terminal 16 – A $141 million project to build the port’s fourth cruise terminal and a parking garage at Pier 16, currently occupied by cargo operations.
  • Cruise Terminal 25 renovations – A $50 million-plus project, in partnership with Carnival Cruise Line, to remodel and improve the decades-old cruise terminal at Pier 25.
  • Internal Roadway – A phased project to build a 2-mile-long internal roadway for port traffic to help alleviate traffic on Harborside Drive. The estimated $14.5 million project is funded with $9.3 million in state funds, with the balance in port funding.
  • West Port Cargo Complex Project – A $50.1 million infrastructure improvement project, with $36 million in state funding, to build a 1,340-foot-long berth and retaining walls in front of two slips. The little-used slips will be filled and paved over in a future phase.
  • Harborside Skywalk – A $4.85 million project, with $3.85 million in state funds, to restore and upgrade the existing skywalk connecting cruise terminals 25 and 28 with the port parking garage at 25th Street. 

Attendees included community members and port partners who work on the waterfront. Many had long conversations with our engineers to understand project details. They seemed very pleased to get the information. Many voiced support for the projects and the economic stimulus they’re bringing.

We got many thoughtful questions, like why are we filling two slips at the cargo complex. The answer is that the slips are too small to accommodate many of today’s ships, so that acreage would better serve the port as a cargo laydown area.

We also got questions about the internal roadway, including when it will be completed. Two phases are finished, with two in the planning stages and projected to be completed in 2026. Phase three, between 20thand 23rd streets, is a $2.6 million project funded with $1.9 million in state funds and $700,000 in port funds. The fourth phase, between 33rd and 41st streets, is a $3.15 million project funded with $2.5 million in state funds and $655,000 in port revenues. 

The skywalk to improve pedestrian safety was a popular topic. One attendee suggested that a second skywalk be built to connect downtown to the port. 

We received many positive comments about the proposed fourth cruise terminal at Pier 16, as well as our plans to build internal roadways and a parking garage to accommodate cruise traffic in the area.  

As we make progress with these projects, we’ll plan to hold another public meeting in 2024 to give updates and gather feedback. We always enjoy the opportunity to share information about the progress we’re making on delivering our 20-Year Strategic Master Plan. 

I greatly appreciate the strong interest the community has in its citizen-owned port. 

From everyone at the Galveston Wharves, wishing you a happy, healthy, prosperous new year.

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