As we enter 2018, the Port of Beaumont reflects on what was the strongest financial year in Port history. With more than 3 million tons of cargo making its way through the gates, and the successful passage of an $85 million bond referendum, port leadership notes that the outlook for 2018 is positive.
For more than 100 years, the Port of Beaumont has been committed to the economic prosperity of Southeast Texas through the development of capital programs designed to improve efficiency and capacity, increase capabilities, diversify cargo and create jobs. The Port’s 2017-2018, $169.2 million Capital Program includes 12 projects that will address infrastructure efficiency gaps to include the Rebuild of Docks 2, 3 and 4, the Buford Rail Yard Interchange Track project, and the Carroll Street Overpass project. These projects facilitate the recovery and growth of a region that experienced millions of dollars in economic loss due to Tropical Storm Harvey.
The most significant of the 12 projects, the Rebuild of docks 2, 3, and 4, will be funded by a combination of general obligation bonds and port revenue and is expected to cost approximately $79 million. The cost will include the demolition of the failed dock and the rebuild of the new dock, to be named Main Street Terminal One. This project will increase port capacity by approximately 33% and provide customers with a modern 1,400 linear foot dock with 1,200 pound per square foot capacity and 16,000 linear feet of new rail track. The expected completion date is Spring of 2020.
The Buford Rail Yard Interchange Track, a $13.2 million project, will provide the port with additional switching capacity, which will alleviate inter-city vehicular traffic. As a result of the additional rail, the Carrol Street Overpass, a $10 million project, will be built allow for the expeditious movement of cargo throughout the port.
While there are other significant projects underway, the Rebuild of Docks 2, 3 and 4; the Buford Rail Yard Interchange Track; and the Carroll Street Overpass represent the top three priorities of the Port of Beaumont going into 2018.
According to a 2015 Economic Impact Study, the Port of Beaumont is responsible for 12,608 direct, indirect, induced and related user jobs and more than $1.8 billion in economic activity annually. Southeast Texas is the second largest exporter of crude oil, the largest exporter of liquid natural gas in the nation, and the third largest crude refining complex United States. As the export market and the petrochemical industry continue to grow, so too will the need for safe, efficient, and reliable transportation of cargo. As a world-class intermodal transportation facility that is served by three class one rail carriers, located within 2 miles of Interstate 10, and is situated on a deepwater channel with a 40 foot draft, the Port of Beaumont is well equipped to handle the significant growth that Southeast Texas is preparing to experience.