Calhoun Port Authority

A Panamax cargo vessel sits at the Calhoun Port Authority in Point Comfort.

Point Comfort – Officials at the Port of Calhoun approved contracts with two consultants for services related to the planned widening and deepening of the Matagorda Ship Channel at their Wednesday meeting.

The first is a $285,180 contract with Gary & Pape for an archaeological review of the channel. This process, which is required by the Army Corps of Engineers, will survey the channel area using sonar technology to search for any important archaeological findings.

The bid was slightly more expensive than another proposal submitted by a firm called SEARCH, whose estimate was $273,630, but Meg Thornton, a project manager with Mott McDonald, the firm assisting port officials with the relocation of pipelines in the ship channel, recommended the port work with Gary & Pape.

Board member Marty Strakos voted against approving the contract, stating that he thought both proposals were “a little steep.”

The second contract approved by port officials Wednesday was a $284,000 contract with Mott McDonald for continued services related to the relocation of pipelines in the ship channel.

Felicia Harral, the port’s engineering director, said that of 20 pipelines in the ship channel, six either were never installed or have already been removed. Another 10 need to be removed, while four need to be relocated.

Port Director Charles Hausmann said the ship channel project remains on track to be completed in the second quarter of 2022.

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Mark Rosenberg reports on local, regional and breaking news for the Victoria Advocate as a Report for America corps member. He can be reached at or 361-574-1264 or on Twitter at @markrosenberg32. To support local journalism at the Advocate through Report for America, go to

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