Galveston's superport plan.




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The Port of Galveston, Texas, feels that, although the need for deep-water terminals to handle oil supertankers is recognized, the concept of multipurpose use should be explored since imports and exports of dry bulk commodities will increase by about 65% by 1980. Dry bulk handling is not feasible at offshore sites because of costs. The Port proposes that a 1,000 to 1,220-ft wide channel be dredged in stages from 60 to 100-ft. deep and extend, in the 1st phase 39 mi beyond the jetties, with a turning basin 2,000 ft wide and 2 mi long. In the initial stages existing dredging equipment, which can go to 70 ft, would be used and the dredge spoil would be disposed of beyond the 50-ft line. The cost of the channel and turning basin is estimated at $440 million and completion time as 5 yr. Dredging should have little environmental impact other than an increase in turbidity during the dredging. Compared with the offshore site this project will offer less pollution hazard because of its protected location and the ability to use effective spill booms. A disadvantage would be the greater risk of collision or grounding of tankers, but with latest electronic devices that problem would be minimized. Public financing is recommended since it would carry with it the degree of public control necessary to assure safe, pollution-free operation.




coastal engineering, navigational channels, dredging, environmental impact, deep-water terminals, marine transportation