New transportation jobs on tap with Port of Houston project

The project will provide a number of significant benefits, including creating more jobs for the local community.

New transportation jobs on tap with Port of Houston project

A project approved by the Port of Houston Authority to extend an existing Union Pacific Rail Corridor along State Highway 146 will add jobs to the local community.

The exact number of jobs and salary figures were not immediately available.

"I don’t know the specifics," Ty Thomas, vice president of Lockwood, Andrews & Newnam, Inc., told Monster. "The best answer I can give is that the rail project is part of the ultimate development of the Bayport Container Terminal, which definitely creates new jobs (truckers, stevedores, freight handlers, logistics agents, terminal operators, etc.). 

Earlier this week, the PHA selected LAN to design Phase 1 of the new rail line to the Bayport Terminal. The project involves design of approximately 6,500 linear feet of primary rail line. LAN is a full-service consulting firm that offers planning, engineering and program management services.

The project represents the initial phase of the development of planned rail service into the Bayport Intermodal Yard. At full development, three parallel tracks will service the intermodal yard and are expected to handle as much as 20% of the overall container volume through the Bayport Terminal. 

The project will provide a number of significant benefits, including:

  • Providing cheaper transportation of consumer goods.
  • Facilitating growth of the terminal as a regional conduit for containerized cargo.
  • Enabling removal of trucks from the highway by transferring a portion of the container volume to rail. This will improve the regional air quality and highway safety by taking trucks off the road.
  • Expanding the market potential for import and export of containers through the Port of Houston.

“The Port of Houston provides a tremendous benefit to the local, state and national economy,” Thomas said. “We are pleased to continue our long history of service to the Port Authority and partner with them to make their vision of providing rail service into the Bayport Terminal a reality.”

The project will cross three state highways using quiet zone systems. PHA and LAN will coordinate with local community partners to make the project as community-friendly as possible through the implementation of quiet zone rail crossings, and potential installation of sound walls.  The project will be constructed in concert with a separate project to build a 20-foot high sight-and-sound berm that will help shield the rail line from the adjacent communities.

The project also will involve modifications to rail tracks serving an existing industry and add two potential new industry service tracks. Other elements of the project include pipeline and utility crossings and associated adjustments, analysis and mitigation of floodplain impacts to a regional drainage corridor, stormwater analysis and new culvert crossings of regional drainage systems, crossing and partial filling of an existing private detention pond, and design of the overall railroad drainage system. 

The design of the $13.8 million project will be completed in mid-2015 with construction starting later in the year.