The Texas Transportation Commission has approved historic funding for Texas ports that will help increase trade, improve safety and provide a more robust supply chain. The funding comes from a bill passed in this year's 88th Legislative Session, signed by Gov. Greg Abbott.
The Commission approved $200 million, the first funding of its kind in Texas, for port development and infrastructure projects through the Maritime Infrastructure Program. The Commission also approved $40 million for state highway and other public transportation roadway projects through the Seaport Connectivity Program.
"Texas ports play a critical role in our state's booming economy, helping Texas continue to drive America's economy and remain a hub for international trade," said Gov. Abbott. "I thank the Texas Legislature for bringing this legislation to my desk and the Texas Transportation Commission for approving this crucial funding to ensure Texas has the infrastructure needed to support America's supply chain and promote continued economic growth and activity. This historic investment will not only bolster Texas' ports infrastructure, it will help build a brighter economic future for all Texans."
"Since I became lieutenant governor in 2015, I have prioritized improving Texas' ports," Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said. "I have created committees on ports and built millions of dollars of funding into the state budget. Investments in our ports enable the Texas economy, the envy of the United States and the world, to continue powering our state forward. This year, during the 88th Legislative Session, the legislature allocated the most state resources ever to our ports, and this historic funding demonstrates my commitment to making key investments that will have lasting impacts on Texas and America."
"This unprecedented funding is great news for Texans and will be critical for the robust port development and expansion happening along our Gulf Coast communities, including right here in Texas House District 21," Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan said. "As the Texas economy continues to thrive, it is essential that the state prioritizes investments toward our ports, roads and rails — and this is an important step toward maintaining that commitment. I appreciate the Texas Transportation Commission for approving this funding and the Texas Legislature for passing legislation earlier this year to make this investment possible."
The funding goes towards 31 projects recommended by the Port Authority Advisory Committee, a nine-member body representing the Texas port industry, after carefully considering project eligibility and merits. This includes $200 million for 12 projects for the Maritime Infrastructure program, building truck queuing areas, dock rehabilitation and expansion, and rail expansion. It also includes $40 million for 19 projects for the Seaport Connectivity Program to improve connectivity, enhance safety and relieve congestion in areas near the state's maritime ports.
"Texas ports are a crucial link in the supply chain," said Texas Transportation Commissioner Steven Alvis. "With the expansion of the Panama Canal, and under the Governor's direction, improving these port facilities along the Texas Gulf Coast helps support this key economic driver for our state and the nation."
Texas ports drive $450 billion in economic activity each year and support 1.8 million Texas jobs.
"Texas has two of the three largest ports in the U.S. based on tonnage, so this will not only benefit Texans, but the entire nation," TxDOT Executive Director Marc Williams said. "The unprecedented funding commitment by Gov. Abbott, the Texas Legislature and the Commission benefits the entire Texas port system and serves as a catalyst for job creation, business development and a more resilient supply chain."
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