Houston-Galveston Navigation Channels, Texas project 50-year plan development and design




Jefts AR

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American Society of Civil Engineers


This paper presents a summary of the history, process of the development, and design of the Houston-Galveston Navigation Channels widening and deepening project. The Houston-Galveston Navigation Channels Project will widen and deepen the Houston Ship Channel from 40 feet × 400 feet to 45 feet × 530 feet over a 53.5 mile distance from the Gulf of Mexico to the confluence of Buffalo and Boggy Bayous. Over the 50-year project life of initial construction and maintenance of the channel, some 3,889 acres of marsh, upland, and colonial water bird habitat will be created under the Beneficial Uses Plan. The Beneficial Uses Plan will have a net positive environmental benefit on the Galveston Bay eco-system and is not a mitigation plan, but recognizes and treats dredged material as a resource. The project demonstrates that improvements to commerce and navigation are compatible with the need for environmental restoration. The process for the development of the Beneficial Uses Plan is unique in that a partnership of resource agencies along with the federal and local sponsors defined the final plan. The process has proved to be very successful and can be adapted to other navigation projects




Construction, Dredges, Dredging, Environmental engineering, Environmental impact, Erosion, Fisheries, Maintenance, Navigation systems, Project management, Restoration, Water, Waterway transportation