USACE project update: Jetty repair work at Matagorda Ship Channel nears completion; Galveston work to begin soon

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Galveston District
Story by Isidro Reyna

Date: 07.20.2011
Posted: 07.20.2011 14:26
News ID: 74024

GALVESTON, Texas – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Galveston District, is scheduled to complete a $4.5 million jetty repair project at the entrance to the Matagorda Ship Channel in August 2011.

Jetties, also known as stone breakwaters, minimize wave action along the shoreline and prevent sediment from filling the entrances to ship channels along the Texas coast, reducing dredging maintenance cycles.

“This three-month project, which began in May at the Matagorda Ship Channel, consists of repairing and replacing stones that were moved and damaged as a result of Hurricane Ike,” said Alicia Rea, a project operations manager with USACE Galveston. “Upon completion, the newly-repaired jetties will continue to prevent sediment from entering the ship channel, allowing millions of tons of cargo, including critical commodities that contribute to the economic strength of the nation, to be shipped to various ports.”

A contract was awarded to Conti for more than $45 million in March 2010, with work consisting of jetty repairs in Galveston, Sabine, Freeport, Matagorda and Brownsville, including riprap repairs at Texas City.

“Work on the $13 million Galveston portion will begin in early August, followed by work in Freeport and Brownsville,” said Rea. “In Galveston, we are repairing storm damage to the heads of both the north and south jetty, with plans to replace rocks which were displaced, repairing the jetties to pre-Ike conditions.”

According to Rea, the Galveston jetties assist the corps in carrying out one of its primary missions of keeping waterways open for navigation.

“Work on the Sabine jetties and rip rap placement at Texas City has been completed,” said Rea.

USACE Galveston District was established in 1880 as the first engineer district in Texas to oversee river and harbor improvements. The district is directly responsible for maintaining more than 1,000 miles of channel, including 270 miles of deep draft and 750 miles of shallow draft as well as the Colorado River Locks and Brazos River Floodgates.