Port of Brownsville expanding to keep up with increase in cargo
The Port of Brownsville is expanding to make sure it can keep up with an increase in cargo and officials say it will have a positive affect on the local economy.
Two years ago, the port noticed more and more traffic coming through.
"Because of the high demand on that, our docks are beginning to see repeated use, which means that vessels are having to wait for docks to become available," said Eduardo Campirano, the port's director.
The number of ships coming in and out of the port influenced their decision to expand and construct a new dock through an almost $28 million contract.
"The dock alone is the largest piece of that contract. That dock is going to be somewhere in the $24 to $25 million range," Campirano said.
Improvements to existing docks were also in the works and Campirano says that maintenance will not only help the port, it'll add jobs as well.
"The port is a big producer of jobs. It takes a lot of people to get a vessel to come in," he said.
More than 100 people have been employed throughout the course of the construction and it's expected to be done around mid-June, despite a couple of delays since 2017.
"We're having a lot more vessel calls. A lot of it is the refined product market, the gasoline and diesel that is coming to this port going into Mexico has been increasing substantially over the course of the last ten years and so we've got to keep up with the demand for services," Campirano said.
This is only the second newly built dock at the port in the last five years. Before that, it had been almost 20 years since any had been constructed.