Governor Abbott Announces Historic $240 Million For Texas Seaports

September 29, 2023 | Austin, Texas | Press Release

Governor Greg Abbott announced that the Texas Transportation Commission has approved a historic $240 million in funding for Texas ports to help increase trade, improve safety, and provide a more robust supply chain for our state and the nation. Signed into law by the Governor this year as the first funding of its kind in Texas, the Commission approved $200 million for port development and infrastructure projects through the Maritime Infrastructure Program, in addition to $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 Governor 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,” said Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick. “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,” said Speaker Dade Phelan. “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.”
“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 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,” said Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) Executive Director Marc Williams. "The unprecedented funding commitment by Governor 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.”
The funding goes toward 31 projects recommended by the Port Authority Advisory Committee, a nine-member body representing the Texas port industry, after considering project eligibility and merits. This includes $200 million for 12 projects for the Maritime Infrastructure Program, including 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.
In June, Governor Abbott signed into law Senate Bill 30, authorizing additional funding to bolster Texas ports, which contribute $450 billion in economic activity statewide and support 1.8 million Texas jobs.
More information on TxDOT Maritime Division’s port projects is available here.