News: USACE Galveston District awards an $843,000 small business contract
Story by Sandra Arnold
GALVESTON, Texas – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District awarded a service-disabled veteran-owned small business contract to Babcock Construction Company in the amount of $843,000 to conduct levee raising on Placement Area 2 at the Port of Victoria, located in Calhoun and Victoria counties, Texas.
The contractor is expected to begin work in July to raise the levee surrounding PA 2 (a federally-authorized disposal site for dredged material), by approximately three feet to prepare the area to hold material from the Channel to Victoria.
“Without the required levee raising and associated maintenance dredging, barges will be required to light load cargo (cargo space left available to avoid weighing down the vessel and potentially running aground), which reduces the efficiency and viability of the Port of Victoria,” said Operations Manager John Machol, USACE Galveston District’s Navigation Branch. “Routine dredging ensures channel depths remain consistent to reduce the potential for vessel groundings, which could result in property damage, potential environmental disasters and loss of life.”
The USACE Galveston District’s Channel to Victoria project consists of a shallow-draft project 12 feet deep by 200 feet wide by 35.4 miles long, extending from the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway to the Port of Victoria. The levee raising will allow the district to fulfill its mission of providing safe and navigable waterways for vessels importing and exporting goods to and from the Port of Victoria.
According to Machol, the Port of Victoria is ranked 83 in the nation in commercial tonnage and plays a key role in maritime commerce – enabling the transport of 3.5 million short tons annually (2011 USACE Navigation and Civil Works Decision Support Center, formerly the Navigation Data Center).
Each year, the USACE Galveston District dredges approximately 30 to 40 million cubic yards of material from Texas channels to fulfill its mission of keeping waterways open for navigation and commerce (benefiting 28 ports handling 500 million tons of commerce annually). As part of the dredging process, the material collected is placed in approved disposal sites or used for other environmentally-acceptable purposes. The most common PAs are confined. Other PAs include semi-confined, unconfined and beneficial use sites for marsh restoration or beach nourishment.
The district actively supports the government’s policy of placing a fair proportion of district contracts with qualified small, small disadvantaged, women-owned, veteran-owned, service-disabled veteran owned, and historically black colleges and universities/minority institutions. For more information about small business practices, visit http://www.swg.usace.army.mil/BusinessWithUs/SmallBusinessOffice.aspx.
To learn more about dredging along the Texas coast, view our four-minute video, http://bit.ly/KLZQBM. For more news and information, visit www.swg.usace.army.mil. Find us on Facebook, www.facebook.com/GalvestonDistrict or follow us on Twitter, www.twitter.com/USACEgalveston.