Federal grant will fund upgrades to Velasco terminal

Federal grant will fund upgrades to Velasco terminal

Port Freeport receives nearly $16 million from federal government


By EMILY HANSON emily.hanson@thefacts.com

Nov 13, 2023 Updated 11 hrs ago



FREEPORT — An infusion of cash from the federal government has Port Freeport executives excited.

“When you know you have good projects and you’re competing against projects across the U.S., it’s really exciting to be recognized,” Port Freeport CEO/Executive Director Phyllis Saathoff said.

The feelings of elation come from the recent announcement of a $15.96 million federal grant for the Velasco Terminal Sustainability Expansion Project. The award by the U.S. Department of Transportation is through the Port Infrastructure Development Program.

“This will help us manage our growth and prepare us for future opportunities,” Saathoff said.

The Velaso Terminal project has several components, she said. The port will install new gate infrastructure and build a new 36,900-square-foot cross-dock facility. Also included are improvements to a 10-acre site Saathoff said will enhance truck mobility.

“The cross-dock facility will provide ample room for forklifts to operate and will be a safer work environment,” she said.

The new gate infrastructure will reduce truck turnaround times, leading to fewer emissions and cleaner air, she said.

The port has applied for the grant more than once without success, but staff was very optimistic about this application, Saathoff said.

“This project really checked a lot of boxes for what they were looking for,” she said.

In announcing the funds, U.S. Rep. Randy Weber, R-Friendswood, said the grant is welcome news for Port Freeport.

“Port Freeport is a vital hub for exporting and handling goods for our nation and is a linchpin of our nation’s trade infrastructure,” he said in a news release. “This grant will help us construct a state-of-the-art cross-dock facility and enhance our terminal access. This investment in our ports and waterways is critical to our district, Texas and the nation.”