The Port of Beaumont was awarded a $1.57 million grant by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) as part of the 2019-2020 Port Access Program. The grant will fund a new truck queuing area that will improve port access and provide safety benefits as a result of removing trucks from city streets.
The Port Access Grant Program, administered by the Texas Department of Transportation, has awarded $102.3 million in grants to 13 ports over the last six years. In addition to the $102.3 million awarded by TxDOT, ports have contributed $40.7 million to the projects, for a program impact of $143.1 million. This injection of more than $143 million into the economy over the last six years translates to jobs, improved maritime infrastructure and a competitive advantage for Texas Ports, five of which rank in the top 20 nationally.
The Port of Beaumont’s new truck queuing area will be able to accommodate 27 trucks and will include 14 back-in spots, 13 pull through spots, and a dog run with a green space. This project was developed as a result of a 87% increase in cargo volume at the Port from 2017-2019 and will greatly increase operational efficiencies, while also providing a designated space for truck drivers that is safe and secure.
“The primary benefit of the new queuing area will be improved access into and out of the port. By having a designated area for trucks to be staged, our response time will be quicker, trucks will be removed from city streets, and drivers will have a space to decompress while they wait,” says Port Director Chris Fisher. “The Port Access Program is a tremendous asset that helps keep Texas ports competitive and we are grateful to TxDOT for the work they have done to ensure the program is sustainable.”
About the Port of Beaumont
The Port of Beaumont is a deep-water port located in Beaumont, Texas, that specializes in heavy lift, project, dry bulk, liquid bulk, break bulk and roll-on roll-off cargoes. The Port of Beaumont Channel generates more than 66,000 direct, induced, indirect and related-user jobs in the region and is responsible for more than $24.5 billion in economic activity annually. The Port of Beaumont Channel ranks 4th in the nation in terms of tonnage, 3rd in the nation in terms of growth, according to Forbes, and is the largest strategic military outload port in the nation.
About the Port Access Program
For the past three sessions, the Texas Legislature has included budget riders in the General Appropriations Act that authorize the use of $100 million for projects to improve access to maritime ports throughout the state. These funds come from the Texas Mobility Fund or other eligible sources; all projects that receive funding are selected by the Port Authority Advisory Committee (PAAC) and approved by the Texas Transportation Commission.
The first two rounds of funding— $20 million in 2015 (Rider 45) and $40 million in 2017 (Rider 48)—allowed TxDOT to approve grants for projects along the coast that improved and widened public roadways, added truck queuing lanes in high-traffic areas, improved signage and gates at rail crossings and upgraded intersections near Texas ports. The third and current round, Rider 38, allowed TxDOT to approve grants for 13 projects at 13 different ports including the ports of Beaumont, Port Arthur, Sabine Pass, Galveston, Houston, Freeport, Palacios, Calhoun, West Calhoun, Victoria, Corpus Christi, Mansfield and Harlingen.