Dig in! $400M Corpus Christi Ship Channel expansion begins

Let the digging begin.

Ceremonies were held Wednesday to kick off expansion of the Corpus Christi Ship Channel in a bid to attract larger oil tankers to Texas.

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Illinois-based Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company won the $92 million contract to deepen and widen the channel as part of a more than $400 million project. The federal government and the Port of Corpus Christi are funding the upgrades, to be completed in 2022.

The Corpus Christi Ship Channel depth will increase from 47 feet (14.33 meters) to 54 feet (16.46 meters). The width will expand from 400 feet (121.92 meters) to 530 feet (161.54 meters).

Corpus Christi's Harbor Bridge, which opened in 1959 with a 138-foot (42.06-meter) clearance, is being replaced with a larger span.