BYLINE: Laura L. Myers
Ports nationwide are dealing with capacity issues, prompting many East and West Coast ports to maximize space and infrastructure.
With global trade forecast to soar in coming decades, most Gulf ports are undertaking major expansions, intent on avoiding congestion problems plaguing counterparts on both coasts.
Expansion projects at the Gulf's largest ports are well-publicized; Houston is nearly halfway through building the first phase of its $2 billion Bayport container mega-complex and New Orleans recently announced plans to build a $90 million twin adjacent to its 1-year-old Napoleon Avenue Container Terminal.
But many other sizable expansion projects are under way or about to begin in the Gulf, including developments at the ports of Mobile, Manatee and Beaumont.
MobileAlabama State Port Authority is awaiting approval from the Army Corps of Engineers, which is expected to issue an environmental permit this month allowing the port to begin taking bids on its $238 million Choctaw Point Container Terminal.
The port at Mobile, Ala., has begun demolition work at the 92-acre site of the new two-berth terminal, which will include intermodal connections to the main rail system, four gantry cranes, a 45-foot depth and a 57-acre intermodal terminal supplemented by warehousing and distribution facilities.
With a first phase scheduled for completion in early 2007 and the entire project to be finished in 2009, Port Executive Director James Lyons said the new container terminal will help the historically bulk port diversify into a major container port …